It’s hard to know how to start this post. There are many things going through my mind that I cannot effectively put into words, even though I desperately want to. As you all know, the Haiti earthquake last week caused devastation greater than many of us can comprehend. The damage is so great that it is difficult to know how the areas impacted will even begin to rebuild and heal. This tragedy has pulled on the heart-strings of many, including many of my friends from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
How is Haiti at all connected to Decorah, Iowa? Ben Larson. Ben was a beautiful human being that managed to make a huge impact on literally thousands of individuals (including myself), and he was killed in the earthquake last week. Ben was studying at Wartburg Seminary to become a Pastor and was in Haiti helping to teach Lutheran theology.
My husband and I have been grieving the loss and trying to stomach all the information, along with countless others. Ben was trapped in a building along with his wife and cousin. Of the three, Ben was the only one who was not able to make it out. Recent news reports quoting his wife, Renee, have revealed that in his last moments, Ben was singing. Beneath the rubble that covered him, he was singing hymns. His wife, who came back for him but was unable to save Ben, was there listening until the songs ended, knowing there was nothing that could be done. And there are thousands of other individuals in Haiti who have endured similar heart-breaking scenarios. People who need help to get through this in more ways than we know. Ben’s love of God and music remained strong until the very end. Watch this video of Ben opening for Minnesota musician Peter Mayer to see the beauty of Ben as a person and musician.
This photo was taken from an article released by the ELCA. Click here for the full article from the ELCA.
I have cried many times over the past few days, but each time I cry, I know that it is a mere fraction of the emotional destruction that has been done to Ben’s family and to families in Haiti.
Each time that I sit down to write a blog post about food, I can’t. I can think of nothing else but the beautiful life of Ben Larson, his beautiful family and wife, and the strength that I pray they have in the midst of such tragedy.
As I said, there is no way for me to accurately put into words the feelings that have been surging through me in recent days. But what I can tell you is that these people need all the help we can give. People are left without homes and families, which has left them with a deeper amount of nothingness than before the quake; a seemingly impossible position for anyone to endure. So, skip your Starbucks, or your dinner out and help. Please.
There are several ways you can help. Blog Away Hunger, lead by Marc from No Recipes, has posted a list of bloggers donating their ad revenue this month to relief funds in Haiti. Please visit this link to find out which bloggers are participating and just start clicking through their past posts. I don’t get any ad revenue at the moment, so please go to the participating sites and do what you can to help. You can also go to the sites listed below to donate money directly.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (Ben’s family’s suggestion)
Novica: This site specializes in selling goods made by people in need throughout the world, including artists living in Haiti. 10 % of the proceeds from goods made in Mexico, the Andes, and Brazil are designated to help the relief efforts in Haiti.
Unicef: The Unicef homepage states that “The emergency aid is urgently needed, as basic services and infrastructure in the western hemisphere’s poorest nation were already close to collapse even before the 7.0-magnitude quake struck.” You can donate here to help the emergency aid efforts.
Whimsey & Spice is donating 10% of their sales to relief efforts in Haiti. If you are in New York, please check them out!