While I don’t always pay attention to the news, it is hard to not hear about the relief efforts that have been going on in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.  The big interesting news is that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) sent a huge convoy to Haiti to help.  The interesting thing about that is that Israel did it basically completely unannounced.  They didn’t file any flight-plans, they just showed up in  two 747s and a C130 carrying all the equipment that they needed to set up a mobile field hospital including scanning and diagnostic equipment and satellite links for maintaining digital patient files with hospitals in Israel.  Amazingly, in traditional Israeli fashion they literally just showed up with a blatant disregard for any regulations saying: “Hey, we are here to help and we are landing!”

So, while hearing about the entire situation in Haiti, I have been wondering what it has to do with me.  I hate to sound like I am not sympathetic, but I am here living my life, seemingly unaffected, but that isn’t really the case.  It turns out that my family (my uncle specifically) is fairly deeply involved in the efforts.  It started off with a young Israeli woman, Shauna, that he has been sponsoring in her athletic endeavors since the Maccabee Games who is deploying with the IDF to Haiti for the relief.  She went to medical school before making aliyah to Israel and has been competing as a tri-athlete for Israel.

Additionally, he is involved in helping to move doctors from Dartmouth College (his alma mater) to Haiti as the Dartmouth medical school has been looking for people to donate private planes to help move the medical personnel.

We also have family friends who are volunteering their time, money and supplies to actually go to Haiti to help out.  So, when I actually sit and think about it, this is something that affects me.  here I am sitting with my uncle at his beautiful home at Deer Valley in Park City Utah about to go skiing, but we have spent the better part of the morning organizing relief efforts.

Here are two of the organizations that are down there making a difference and doing a good job.  I know that everyone around the world is asking for money and donations, but it is a good cause.  So check these guys out and do what you can.  Don’t feel obligated, but certainly consider doing what you can.

Israaid – This is the civilian company managing the Israeli relief efforts.  At the time of posting their site seems to be down.

Partners in Health – A US organization that seems to be doing very well and working very efficiently.