Where Does the Haiti Relief Money Go?

Today, I had the opportunity to talk with the staff of Threadless — a t-shirt company that you should know about, if you don’t already. They made a $100,000 donation about a year ago to support our relief effort in Haiti, and they wanted to know more about how the money made an impact.

There are a lot of ways that we can answer that question — “Where does the money go?”

We can do the math: Well, if $100 can provide a cooking set, hygien pack, blankets, and water containers for a family of five, your $100,000 helped 1,000 families.

We can tell the story: “A line of men, women and children stretches around the corner of the white tent, each waiting patiently to tell their story to the attending doctors from the Red Cross mobile health clinic…” and so on.

We can provide the data: Pie charts, maps and such will show you, quite precisely where the money goes.

We can show you very touching videos with pleasant music.

But, with Threadless, this just didn’t feel right. I mean, look at their Headquarters, here in Chicago:

Does this audience strike you as one that wants to hear numbers or watch more than a couple of videos? Me neither.

Talking with them today reminded me how isolated our donors must feel from the impact of their donation. It just doesn’t occur to you that you actually save lives, does it?

Listen up. You do.

Even $5 bought some individual in Haiti a water container to store clean drinking water. That individual you helped with your 5 bucks may have been this kid:

You did that. Threadless did that for 19,999 additional kids. Do you get what I’m saying?

Do me (and yourself) a favor. If you gave to the Haiti relief effort, do these 3 things:

1) think about how much you gave

2) do the water container math ($5 bucks a pop)

3) and look at the faces of the people it helped.

You matter to that kid. Man oh man. You matter.

Written By Jackie Mitchell

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