I was putting on the final touches for my latest post on business philanthropy, when I first heard of the disaster in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is so close, really, to the US. I heard an interview with Haiti's ambassador to the US on the CBS News with Katie Couric. She asked him what will the Haitians need? His reply was "everything".
Several years ago I met a remarkable young women at my son's high school that was engaged in a community service project during her summers in Haiti. This was right around the time I was clearing my son's room of his outgrown toys. As he was a Legomaniac from the age of 3, we had boxes and boxes of assorted Lego pieces. I packed these up in smaller boxes and gave them to her to take on her next trip to Haiti. This is a photo of a little Haitian boy playing with the Legos.
Of course Legos cannot take a priority over food, water, clothing, medical supplies and other urgent needs for the Haitians. But this country will need "everything" as they rebuild in the next few days, months, and even years to come.
When creating a philanthropic business plan it is not not possible to predict when or where there will be the next disaster. But a business can come up with ideas for acting quickly to raise money, send supplies, send extra inventory, partner with relief agencies, and engage customers in helping out. A sign in your window, a collection jar on your counter, a post on your blog, a twitter message, can also help in times of disaster.
For some more specific ways to help the disaster in Haiti right now check out the post at Service Nation
And I can post the story I was working on later.