[Editor's Note from Dominik: Fronting BC's FanPost here, as I've received a few queries about the tragedy in Haiti and what people are doing to help. I don't typically delve into "real news," but this is one of those disasters that affects so many humans on such a massive scale, it's almost numbing.
To personalize it a bit, Andrew Sharp on SBN's NBA page has a reflection on some Haitian friends and his recent meeting with Haitian NBA player Samuel Dalambert. And in his FanPost below, BC shares some background from his own experience in Haiti years ago. There's a link to Dalambert's foundation in that first post, and UNICEF info below.]
The NHL has announced that it is donating $100,000 for relief of the Haitian earthquake victims. It has also suggested that fans donate to UNICEF.
To be born in Haiti is to be trapped, like the girl in the CNN video [after the jump], in an environment that is worse than I hope any of you can imagine...only now it is even worse. (Note: the video after the jump is not for the squeamish.)
Many years ago, I visited Haiti with a church youth group. The people are warm, friendly, and incredibly poor. They lack many of the things (clean water, proper sanitary facilities, access to medical care and education, etc) that we regard as basic to life. And again, that was before this disaster.
One of the things I remember about Port au Prince was that it was VERY densely populated. And that was the better part of 40 years ago. From what I understand, it has gotten MUCH more congested since. A city meant to house 1-200,000 instead has a population of about 3 million. Most people live in miserable little hovels. The proper buildings that DO exist have been built from substandard materials because that is all anyone can afford. And this country had yet to recover from a series of devastating hurricanes in 2008.
It was this city that was hit by a 7.0 earthquake--compared by one geologist to the force of several nuclear bombs. The Presidential Palace--equivalent to our White House--has been destroyed. The airport and harbor facilities have been badly damaged. Hospitals have been destroyed. The UN headquarters in Haiti has been destroyed and many UN personnel are dead or missing.
There is no way to know the entire scope of this tragedy. The Haitian prime minister stated that the death toll would be in the hundreds of thousands already. He may well be correct...and, without water, power, proper medical care, or sanitation, many more will die in the coming weeks. They need help now. Please do what you can, either through UNICEF or through another charity of your choice.