This is why I came to DC

Since January 13, the day after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, I have been consumed by all things…Haiti. Tweeting, Facebooking, mobile texting, emailing, updating, you name it, it has been about Haiti. The moment I saw the news, I knew that for the rest of the week, it was going to be a different world at work. It was and continues to be. That’s the power of a non-profit.

Our entire public affairs team has put in countless hours reaching out to media, posting updates from our colleague who went to Haiti to deliver medical supplies, asking people to donate to help the UN. Many of us (including myself) worked the entire three-day weekend, to ensure that our organization was doing all it could to support the UN’s relief efforts in Haiti – and it’s nowhere near over.

That being said, yeah, laying around in bed the whole weekend would have been nice, but at the end of the day, what really matters is that I’m proud to be part of such a powerful, inspiring group of people who are putting others before themselves, putting their all into something bigger than themselves, putting their passion for their work first and foremost in this time of need.

This is why I came to DC.

I have never been a part of something like this. In 2005 when Katrina hit New Orleans, I was scared for my family, and sad for the place of my birth, the place that I still hold dear in my heart. At college, I helped raise money for relief, but didn’t head down to rebuild, didn’t post banners on websites or urge people to give through their cell phones. And for the tsunami, I am reluctant to admit that I had no part in the relief efforts at all – I watched from the sidelines.

But here, now, I finally feel like I am truly helping. I may not be in Haiti delivering the medical supplies, the food, the water. I may not be setting up telecommunications so that families can call loved ones. I am proud of the people that do those things, and I admire it. But I do feel like here on my end, in front of the computer, that I am making a difference with my tweeting and banner posting, and email sending. Because how else do we get out the word about this crisis, how else do we let people know what they can do to help?

I’m proud of my team, proud of everyone who has given a part of themself for this effort.

This is why I came to DC.

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