You know what is unbelievable is that I called myself out on needing my passport on a whim, and what do you know; I need my passport on a whim. I have been searching all night for organizations that might take volunteers to Haiti, and no one is taking them unless a specific medical skill is offered or with prior emergency relief experience, for fear of liability in an emergency situation. Understandable, but horrible considering that now on the news, a day later, it doesn’t appear that any international emergency rescue crews have yet reached the island. Logic would tell you that the more people sent to Haiti to help rescue those trapped under the rubble, the more lives saved.
All you need to do is go to the Red Cross website and see how many people want to travel to Haiti to help, but the Red Cross is not accepting new volunteers. There are over 600 people alone who have commented on this site expressing their desire to travel to Haiti to help. It is so sad, and frankly, frustrating. I feel incredibly helpless, so I can only imagine how the people of Haiti feel now wanting to help their neighbors and loved ones, but unable to do so without the proper resources and support.
Stumbled upon the Center for International Disaster Information website through USAID, and figured I’d fill out the form for volunteer assistance anyway. Maybe they’ll take me, who knows. I’m usually good at fluffing up my particular skills.
First question – “do you currently hold a valid US passport?”
UGH! Of course, this would be my luck. And until now, I hadn’t even considered that I would need my passport to get back to Haiti. While it is obviously difficult if not impossible to get to Haiti now to volunteer time and services, I want to at least have the option of doing so. A friend and I are actually talking about going to rebuild next month, and even then, will I have my passport? Who knows. But I’ve already got some intel out there to find out.