You know how there are those people in your life who, when you see them, instill in you a sense of calm and clarity within the span of a four-minute conversation? For me, that person is an extraordinary man named Father Tom Hagan. Some of you may already know him as a member of our community: Father Tom was the chaplain at Princeton University for several years, and although he no longer resides in town, his friends in the area are many.
In addition to Father Tom’s astonishing capacity for empathy and understanding, he is the founder of a nonprofit organization called Hands Together. Since its incorporation in 1989, Hands Together has dedicated itself to, very simply, building a more compassionate and human world through helping the poor and disadvantaged. Hands Together has carried out its mission through programs designed to bring dignity to the poor—and the incredible work it does is primarily focused in Haiti.
As you know, Haiti has endured yet another disaster: a 7.0 earthquake that has literally decimated the already impoverished capital of Port-au-Prince. Tens of thousands are feared dead, and countless are still trapped in the destruction and debris. Sadly, Father Tom’s volunteer house, which served some of the poorest of the poor in the city, was destroyed, as well.
So, today, instead of giving you a recommendation on what to do in and around this beautiful town of ours, I am asking you instead to do something for a community many, many miles away; a community in crisis that needs our help now. Here are just a few suggestions for credible organizations that are accepting emergency donations (for now, cash is the best way to help). And in the meantime, positive thoughts and prayers are a good idea, too. —JH
The American Red Cross (Text the word “HAITI” to 90999 to make an instant donation.)
Yéle Haiti (Donate $5 to Wyclef Jean’s charity by texting “YELE” to 501501.)
Save the Children
International Medical Corps
Doctors Without Borders