The physical devastation is greater than 9/11, greater than the last great earthquake that hit Los Angeles in 1994, and greater than Katrina.
Celebrities of all trades, all over the world, have thrown benefits, donated to charities, and spoken out to raise awareness of the reparations that will remain necessary years down the line.
Haiti lies on a fault line between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, which may explain it's unlucky track record of natural disasters.In 2004 Tropical Storm Jeanne killed over 3,000 people. In 2008, Hurricanes Gustav, Hannah and Ike left nearly millions of Haitians in humanitarian need.
But it is also a country wrought with corruption, human trafficking even before the earthquake, and poverty.
It's been over a month since the tragedy, and donations for Haiti have exceeded 305 millions dollars. Within just four days of the crisis, more than 150 million was raised for its relief fund.
But I'm sure many like myself are wondering; where is the money really going? Will it actually get to the people who need it in the long run?
The list of celebrities that have made donations goes on and on; George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Lady Ga Ga, Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Radiohead, Don Cheadle, Naomi Campbell, Bono, Wyclef Jean, Jay-Z, Mandy Moore, Lindsay Lohan, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Tyler Perry.
And didn't they recently remake "We are the World"? This wonderful unified effort of charity and support is also strong PR for everyone involved.
Beyonce is now the official face of the 'Fashion for Haiti' t-shirt. Sean Penn broke down in tears on Larry King while speaking of the devastation he is witnessing there. And Miley Cyrus is releasing a new single donating all the proceeds from its sales straight to Haiti.
But I think Tim Daly, of Private Practice said it best when he stated, "If I were king I would order the top 10 US corporations to open schools and build factories, create jobs in Haiti."
Daly has it right. It will take more than money to save Haiti. The country already lacks in a solid modern infrastructure, it lacks in education, it lacks in a solid government for that matter.
It will take more than money to rebuild Haiti. It will take, first and foremost, a profitable national export, of which the country currently has none. It may even take a complete make over, not only of their government, but of their culture.
Haiti is known for its voodoo culture; which Reverend Pat Robertson believes is the karmic reason for its suffering, even though most of its citizens today are Catholic. Ironic.
It's awesome that so many people in America have rallied to make such a gigantic and speedy effort for its relief, and I hope they continue to do so, but what about Katrina?
And what about Hawaii? Another 'island', that probably won't have enough money to pay for their upcoming special elections.
Hawaii currently can only afford four days of school a week because of its current economic state which relied mostly on Japanese tourism. Well, we all know what happened to Japan's economy.
I'm sure everyone can remember just how fallible FEMA's efforts were back then.
But what about the unemployment rate here? And Detroit? And the fact that California is still broke?
I made my donations to Haiti too and I probably will again, I'm not knocking those efforts whatsoever.
But if I lived in Haiti right now, I would need more than 305 million to buy myself a new life. I would need the invaluable instruction on how to create that new life for myself. And that will cost time.
America to me, sometimes, seems like a dysfunctional family; really good at taking care of everyone else, while sometimes neglecting its own.
I realize we in America already have so much more than they do, but it does us no good to treat others better than how we first treat ourselves. Let alone allowing the rest of the world to see that.
Oh, and by the way, as far as that Christian missionary group who was under arrest for attempting to abscond with a group of children, what were they thinking!
Half of those children turned out not even to be orphans. And they are children! Human beings! Not puppies! Stray puppies you take home; stray children you report to the authorities at hand!
God? Please also help some of those trying to help Haiti! She's become a Celebrity now. Everyone wants a piece of her, right Britney? I'm sure even you can understand.
(photos courtesy of Wire Image and Word Press)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu