I’m getting a lot of offers of support. You humble me. Here’s the deal:
First: Thank you.
Second: This is both a sprint and a marathon. While we’re going down to bandage wounds and set bones, this must be a much longer term project. I actively leaning on all of you to make a long term commitment to helping the Haitian people. I don’t yet know how best to implement that help. It may be some sort of Marshall plan from the US. It may include merely keeping the eye of world attention on our Caribbean neighbor once the bodies are buried and the starving people once again out of sight of the cameras.
If you want to do the right thing over the long term, please plan a little support every month for the next few years.
I will know a lot more about how to be useful in that context once I’ve been down there and seen the situation with my own eyes.
Third: I appreciate the donations of money and goods. If you want to support us with money, the best way is probably to send donations to Family Health Ministries, earmarked in some way for “Chris and Jen Dwan”. They’re a tax deductible, charitable organization – you’ll get a receipt – etc. I understand that if the money shows up sometime soon, you’ll even be able to take it off your 2009 taxes instead of 2010. We’re keeping receipts for our expenses related to the Haitian people. We’ll probably pick up a substantial amount of antibiotic, gauze, tegaderm, etc. at cost. FHM has committed to reimbursing us for that – and you can specify that you would like your funds used for that reimbursement.
We will not ask for reimbursement of the airfare or hotel in the DR, nor for our own food.
Fourth: If you have contacts who can get medical supplies to us by Thursday evening (donated, or at cost), that would be a huge help. Drop me a note or an IM and we can talk on the phone. We’ve got limited space in our carry ons, but if I could take a whole 50lb bag of powerful antibiotics, plus local and general anesthetics, plus ways to get them into people’s veins, I totally would. Hell – I would leave up to half of my food behind for retractable syringes.