Disaster in Haiti - How to Help & What Funeral Directors Should Know

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Watching the news for the past few days it’s easy to get compassion fatigue seeing all of the videos of the suffering, devastation, and loss in Haiti. To say our minds can’t comprehend the situation is an understatement. Our sympathies and hearts go out to all those affected. There’s no doubt everyone wants to help, but how? The news channels are almost scaring people into not helping due to all of the scams that are already arising from this situation.

Here are some safe ways to make a donation for those who can help financially:

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The American Red Cross. You can donate $10 by texting Haiti to 90999. The $10 charge will appear on your cell phone bill. Their website link is www.redcross.org, or click on the icon below. They are not accepting volunteers to travel to the county.

Doctors Without Borders. They are in dire need of money for medicine and medical supplies. They also need medically trained volunteers. www.doctorswithoutborders.com or click on the icon below.

Compassion International. Compassion has been working in Haiti for more than 40 years and is partnered with 230 churches helping more than 65,000 children and their families.

The Compassion website has provided a breakdown of where your donations will go:

You can provide immediate relief today. www.compassion.com or click on the picture below.

$35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.

$70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.

$105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.

$210 gift helps care for two families' needs.

$525 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.

$1,050 gift helps care for 10 families' needs.

$1,500 helps rebuild a home.

$2,100 helps supply 20 families with the basics for three weeks.


If you can’t help financially, please keep these families and those traveling to Haiti to help in your thoughts and prayers.

From a press release from the National Funeral Directors Association sent out this morning (1-14-10):

NFDA members interested in volunteering in Haiti should call the association at 800-228-6332 (262-789-1880). NFDA staff is collecting members’ contact information in order to keep interested parties abreast of ways they might be able to assist the federal government and funeral service professionals in Haiti, should their service prove necessary. If you contact NFDA, please indicate if you hold a valid passport and how long you are willing to serve, as well as an email address or cell phone number to assist in rapid communication. Members should not travel to the affected areas on their own as conditions are severe; participating in a coordinated effort will make for an effective response to the needs of the Haitian people.
 
In addition, funeral directors should not contact Haitian funeral directors about shipping bodies once communication is restored. Haitian funeral directors in the affected areas have their own struggles now, and cannot accept bodies at this time.

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2nd Annual Charity Winners Announced

2nd Annual Charity Winners Announced

This year we have two winners for the end of life give back. First, the Denver Dumb Friends League received a donation in memory of Jeremy McCarroll. Jeremy’s mother, Patty, wrote, “They do all they can to help homeless animals - and many come to them after their owner has died... We grieve when a beloved pet dies - they grieve for us when we leave them. Many pets end up in shelters after their “family” dies. I’ve witnessed pets grieve … when another pet dies that they grew up with, and when I have adopted an older dog from a shelter.” To learn more about grieving the loss of a pet or to make a donation to the Denver Dumb Friend League visit their website at www.ddfl.org. To donate in your local area visit www.humanesociety.org.

Second, the HeartLight Center once again organized their supporters to receive a donation. Leli wrote, “Losing a loved one is a very disorienting, one of a kind experience. Finding fellow grievers and kindred spirits among compassionate, expert facilitators in a warm, non-pressured environment was a much needed find in transitioning safely to life beyond mother. I have a deeper appreciate for the 'gifts of grief' as a result of tender time spent with the groups of HeartLight Center.” To learn more about the programs at the HeartLight Center or to donate, visit www.heartlightcenter.org.

Thanks for your nominations and votes!
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Second Annual End of Life Charity Give Back

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I got this idea last year reading my Real Simple magazine and an article on how people give back over the holidays. One reader wrote that she has a charity giveaway on her blog. Great idea!

Last year the winner was the HeartLight Center. Thanks to all who nominated or voted in the First Annual End of Life Charity Giveback.

So here are the rules: Just hit the comment button below and nominate your favorite end of life non-profit organization. For every subsequent comment from another visitor agreeing with your nomination I will donate $1 to the charity with the most votes, up to $500. It can be a local, state, or national organization related to any end of life industry: funeral service, hospice, organ donation, grief and bereavement, burial assistance fund, military, mentor associations, or something I haven’t thought of. I’ll close the comments out on December 30th, and let the voters choose the winner.

I reserve the right to deem any organization unsuitable for the contest. The charity must be a non-profit, and must be verifiable as legitimate. I won’t donate to any group that I morally or ethically oppose, such as an assisted suicide organization.

Make your nomination now and let’s see if we can raise $500 for your favorite end of life non-profit. Don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues to vote too. You need them to win!
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And the Winner of Our First Annual End of Life Charity Giveback is...

First of all, welcome to the new “Helping You Through” blog! As part of the relaunch of EndofLifeInsights.com, we’ve also redesigned and relaunched our blogs. Please be sure to update your links!


And now -- The WInner of Our First Annual End of Life Charity Giveback is...

The HeartLight Center
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Here’s a little more information on what the HeartLight Center does:

HeartLight Center, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization where people can learn about the process of grief and receive support in the form of supports groups, programs and special events. They support not only the needs of the bereaved, but those who work with them.

One thing that is unique to HeartLight is they don’t duplicate existing programs; they aim to fill in the gap with support that is needed but can’t be found elsewhere.

They don’t charge for their assistance, instead they rely on donors to support the organization. An upcoming fundraising event, “It’s All About Love” will be held on February 6, 2009. For more information you can
visit their website.
Another end of life charity nominee was the
Life Quality Institute:

Since its inception in 2003, the Life Quality Institute has provided more than 80,000 hours of palliative and end-of-life care education throughout Colorado. Over 2,000 medical and other healthcare students have participated in an experiential program about palliative and end-of-life care through the Life Quality Institute. Professional health providers have received more than 15,000 hours of palliative care education.

An extensive list of Palliative Care Resources can be found on their site.



Thanks to all who nominated or voted in the First Annual End of Life Charity Giveback.

We’re looking forward to hosting the event again next year!
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Contributions for Your Favorite Charity - Nominate Your Charity in the Comments

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I got this idea a few weeks ago reading my Real Simple magazine and an article on how people give back over the holidays. One reader wrote that she has a charity giveaway on her blog. Great idea!

So here’s the rules; Just hit the comment button below and nominate your favorite end of life non-profit organization. For every subsequent comment from another visitor agreeing with your nomination I will donate $1 to the charity with the most votes, up to $500. It can be a local, state, or national organization related to any end of life industry: funeral service, hospice, organ donation, grief and bereavement, burial assistance fund, military , mentor associations, or something I haven’t thought of. I’ll close the comments out on December 23rd , and let the voters choose the winner.

I reserve the right to deem any organization unsuitable for the contest. The charity must be a non-profit, and must be verifiable as legitimate. I won’t donate to any group that I morally or ethically oppose, such as an assisted suicide organization.

Make your nomination now and let’s see if we can raise $500 for your favorite end of life non-profit. Don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues to vote too. You need them to win!
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Wreathes Across America

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The Wreaths Across America story is growing, yet again. Fifteen years ago a wreath company in Maine had over 5,000 extra wreaths too close to Christmas to release to the market. How would you get “rid” of 5,000 wreaths? Businessman Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company donated them to Arlington National Cemetery to decorate the graves for the holidays. Since then the story has grown… and grown.

The first year 5,000 wreaths were laid at Arlington, and then last year Worcester’s wife, Karen, came up with the idea for Wreaths Across America. Over 75,000 wreaths have been donated since 1992 from Worcester Wreath Company alone, and every year the number of volunteers placing the wreaths has grown too. This year wreaths were donated at Arlington and 200 other state and national cemeteries; and for the first time were donated to 24 veterans cemeteries on foreign soil, and aboard U.S. ships sailing in all 7 seas! Each State Capitol even receives a wreath.

What connects all these wreaths is a simultaneous ceremony where all of the wreaths are laid on the gravesites at the same time all across the world. What a beautiful way to collectively memorialize all of those who served our country.

You can visit the Wreaths Across America site at www.wreaths-across-america.org and view the beautiful pictures of the wreaths at the gravesites. The pictures on the site have not been altered, they are just so beautiful that many people have a hard time believing they are not computer generated! YouTube even has a video of the placing of the wreaths which is worth watching.

All of this because a 12 year old boy named Morrill Worcester won a trip to Washington from his paper delivery route. He was so moved by his visit to Arlington National Cemetery that 30 years later his visit inspired him to donate the extra wreaths, and has given people the opportunity to act upon their gratitude even today.
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