Celebrities and the cult of over importance

Baby Doc Duvalier

Long time Haitian dictator, Francois Papa Doc Duvalier

Foreign Policy magazine posted a sobering history of the last half-century of Haitian “natural” disasters like hurricanes and flooding to human disasters Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier, the father and son dictators. Photo after photo and news report following news report show a level of devastation that reminds one of Hurricane Katrina or the Asian tsunami a few years back. Five thousand members of the American military are on the way to Haiti for clean up and possible peace keeping if security on the ground begins to deteriorate. Without a functioning center of government, this is all but certain.

As money begins to pour in via text message commitments, 800 numbers and religious channels, MTV has announced its partnership with George Clooney to sponsor a telethon. From the article:

As the crisis in Haiti continues in the wake of the devastating 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, MTV and George Clooney have teamed up to present a telethon to rally support and raise money for the embattled country.

On Friday night, January 22, the Oscar-winning actor will appear in a bi-coastal telethon and fundraiser on all MTV Networks channels. All proceeds will go toward relief efforts in Haiti. to host a telethon fundraiser.

Another report indicates that NBC, ABC, HBO and CNN will also air the broadcast.

Bradangelinapittjolie are/is said to be contributing a million dollars to the effort and, if form holds, we shall hear of other substantial donations in the days ahead.

While anyone with a caring bone in their body rejoices at these efforts, the fact remains that there have been people on the ground in Haiti for decades ministering, running orphanages, clinics, hospitals and schools without any government assistance or an earthquake to rouse slumbering Oscar winners, nominees and wanna-bees.

My parents supported financially for more than 20 years, perhaps more than 30, a family of missionaries to Haiti. The organization, Grace Mission to Haiti is small and unknown to Hollywood, but has demonstrated to be more effective than a telethon can ever hope to be no matter how large the donations or how well intended the donors. Grace Mission will be in need immediately:

We have several ministries which are located in the area of Carrefour and very close to the epicenter of the earthquake. The medical clinic, the church and school at Riviere Froide and the mission office and Pastor Beril’s church school are all located in, or close to Carrefour. Some of these buildings, particularly at the medical clinic and Riviere Froide may have been in direct line. Damage is expected to be extensive and may require total rebuilding. We do not know the extent of damage, if any, at Grace Center.

Thankfully, the primary national leader and his family are safe at this time.

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention are also on the ground already. Reports have already been tendered of teams who were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake and teams on the way. Southern Baptist volunteers are trained in mass feeding, clean up and recovery and communications.

A place to make donations knowing that 100% of the money goes to the relief effort is through Baptist Global Response. Another is through the fine work of Compassion International (Facebook), through whom you can feed a family for a week with a gift of $35. Give if you can, give what you can.

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Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.