Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Helping Out in Haiti
(Plus – The U.S Military Leads The Effort)

In a certain way, it's a lovely (albeit tragic and bittersweet) thing to be able to sit on your couch, and read about millions of people in serious trouble a half a world away, and without even getting up be able to contribute to their aid. Obviously, in ages past, we'd have read about it in the newspaper a week later, maybe shaken our heads, and moved on.

If you haven't already kicked in a couple of bucks or a few bob – and you probably have, and you probably know these things already, but anyway – here are couple of good ways to do so:

The ICRC seems pretty much above reproach.

Though Google is plumping for UNICEF and Care – plus throwing in $1M of their own plus free phone calls.

If you're of a humanistic bent, Richard Dawkins is footing PayPal fees and helping give the lie to the occasional claim that non-religious types are indifferent to human suffering. (Hitch comments acidly here.)

(Though, they're giving everything to Médecins sans Frontières and ICRC, so you're back with ICRC.)

Finally, I don't resist the temptation to point out that the first and by far most impactful response, as usual, was provided by the men and women of the United States military. For instance, currently:

  • There are 12,000 service people on the scene – 2/3 afloat, 1/3 ashore
  • There are 18 Navy and Coast Guard ships, many with flight decks, plus loaded with water and medical supplies, plus they have massive desalination plants to produce fresh water
  • 49 helicopters ferrying supplies ashore
  • 7 Coast Guard C-130 transport planes doing evacuations and support
  • The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson – basically another airport – plus its floating hospital w/3 operating rooms
  • 1,800 patients have been treated, including surgery on the Carl Vinson
  • The USNS Comfort, which is a floating hospital, with 1000 beds, arrives today
  • USAF ATC personnel opened and operated the airport for incoming relief shipments – rapidly getting it from 13 flights/day to 180
  • 800 Marines (from 22 MEU out of Camp Lejeune) went ashore yesterday, ferrying food and water
  • Troops from the Army's 82nd Airborne are already there
  • In the last 6 days 400,000 bottles of water, 300,000 ration packs, and 12,000 pounds of medical supplies have been distributed
Go U.S. military. (*) Later on, when you're in the mood for giving again, you might consider doing what Chuck Norris says (seriously – do what Chuck Norris says!) and supporting the troops through the USO:

"The brave men and women of America's military put it all on the line. They volunteer to take on dangerous duties and carry out their missions with incredible courage . . . There's no way we can ever pay them back. But, there's no excuse for not trying."
- Chuck Norris [emphasis added, gack! - editor]

  the military     charity  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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