I'm here in Barbados on a short vacation and yet again can't help but think about Haiti. Not just because tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the earthquake (although that is certainly a factor), and not because my heart has been breaking for more than a year, but because both are Caribbean islands that have so much and yet so little in common. European settlers, slavery, revolution, sugar cane, and patois seem to be the main commonalities. In contrast, Haiti (an independent island with a French core) is the poorest country in the Americas and Barbados (an independent island with British sovereignty) is the 51st richest country in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita. Seems so imbalanced, doesn't it?
To that end, and as an Ambassador for the Heart of Haiti, I have not only made a commitment to remember Haiti, but I have made a commitment through Fairwinds Trading's worthy initiative to encourage trade (and not aid) by buying Haitian-made home decor items so that Haitian artisans are provided with sustainable income. It's a very simple concept; yet it can be a little difficult to get folks to buy in to since donating money has always been the traditional way for most of us to help those in need. Instead (and since I'm not very traditional), I would like to use this little blog of mine to give you a bit of a nudge and encourage you to not only pray for Haiti as you go about your daily lives but to help through gift giving as well. A birthday, graduation, Valentine's, Mother's Day or Father's Day gift from an artisan in Haiti via Macy's.com is not only a meaningful gift, but a fine way to be of service to those in need. Perhaps by doing so there might just be a little more balance.