After learning that the American Red Cross earned over $4 million in $10 donations simply by cell phone users texting "Haiti" to 90999, I felt my first glimmer of hope. This effort, which could not be made easier, has been made possible through messages spanning from Facebook to Twitter to local news stations - and continues to ask for donations. I have also heard directly from earthquake survivors in Haiti who reiterate that donations to the Red Cross and Partners in Health are the best way for us to truly help from afar right now.
I have since been reading about efforts within the New York City restaurant scene that have slowly made me realize this town has more to offer than at first glimpse. While certain restaurants are offering individual specials, such as at Hearth where on Tuesday, January 19th they will be donating 50% of the gross revenues from that evening to relief work, there are also plans for the entire restaurant community to band together in charity initiatives. There is currently a push to have all restaurants donate 10% of proceeds and 5% of gratuity earned on Sunday, January 25th. Eater.com has been promoting the citywide PR initiative, so check it out here for updates. If that isn't a reason alone to dine out next week, then we should probably all never leave the house!
And so, I still continue to sigh. There is certainly a long long long road ahead. Although, it is up to each of us to play some part (large or small, whatever it may be) in the days ahead. And whether that means spreading the word, directly donating money, hopping on a plane to Haiti, or even dining out in New York, we can at least do our best to keep up the hope during these beyond tough times.