When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12th, 2010, there was a media blitz and people responded by donating time, resources and money. Four months later, Haiti has fallen out of the news and isn't receiving the attention or support it needs to avert an even larger health crisis.
This past weekend, a 15-year-old boy named Oriel died of a respiratory illness called diphtheria. Many experts, including actor and activist Sean Penn, called Oriel's death preventable and are concerned because diphtheria is highly contagious and could lead to a deadly outbreak.
Oriel's death speaks to a larger problem -- the ineptitude of many aid agencies. Diphtheria was a known disease and has the potential to spread like wildfire because of dense living conditions in Haiti.
Stories like this compelled us to take a trip to Haiti to make sure our donations reached the people who needed them most. Thanks to the support of some amazing people, organizations and companies, we were able to deliver supplies to a refugee camp and school in Port-au-Prince. Jaques-Philipe Piverge of The Global Syndicate and Dr. Green from Project Medishare helped plan our mission, while Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen donated 1,000 Life Straws, Staples gave us hundreds of pounds of school supplies, and Incase provided hundreds of bags to bring with us. Here's a video we put together on our trip:
Seeing this crisis firsthand was both horrific and inspiring. There was an incredible amount of destitution and destruction, but we also saw a resilient spirit amongst the Haitian people. Even though you may not hear about it in the news, Haiti still needs our help.
Our biggest summit ever -- DC10 -- starts today, but we found the time to give back. So can you.
TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.