If you're on this page already, I'm thinking I don't need to convince you that something must be done to help Haiti. For information on the purpose of the group, check out the group description over there. <-- But anyway, I want to say thank you to everyone who's joined or submitted art so far and encourage others to do that.
The purpose of this group is obvious: help to fix the problems in Haiti to make a better life possible for the people there. It is an extremely difficult goal, especially when taken on independently (which is why it's important that people come together). You may be wondering what you can do to help, here are some ideas.
(In the short term, Haiti needs money, food, water, and disease treatment.)
-Donate money to a (trustworthy) charity. Charities are everywhere, and can accomplish great things. This is an easy way to do your part. And yes, there are non-profit organizations specifically for Haiti.
-If you want raise more money and are currently a student, talk to your principal/president about starting some kind of project. I've seen 'readathons' (people sponsor you per page you read) work especially well, and they relate to learning, so they'll likely gain support from the administration.
-If you are a student, you likely have a Key Club in your school/college that performs service projects and raises money for various causes. Join them or discuss your ideas with them, and they'll probably have ways of putting those ideas into practice.
-If you are involved in a church, they may have projects already in place. Ask someone!
-If you are 18+ (or have parental permission) look for a church/secular organization that actually sends teams to Haiti to build houses or perform other tasks.
(In the long term, Haiti needs a stable government, strong education for everyone, improved literacy, more jobs, sustainable and safe food, water, and other resources, stable housing, better roads/infrastructure, and many other things that will take too long for me to list.)
-If you live in a country that has congresspeople, WRITE TO THEM. But remember- cookie-cutter letters don't get much attention, and the people you write to must be able to address the situation. For example, if you live in the United States- write to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, especially those on the Subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere. There is also a Foreign Relations Comittee in the Senate (and a Western Hemisphere Subcomittee). If you don't understand how your government works or who to write to, your government most likely has a good site that can explain it and give you names and addresses. You can also email your congresspeople.
-If you live in the United States, remember that you can also write to the President and Secretary of State, who deal with foreign policy matters. (They're pretty busy though, so don't expect a response. At the very least, one of their aides will read your letter/email.) Please remember: when writing to government officials, never use threats or obscene language- the latter is rude and the former may get you in serious trouble with the Secret Service. Also, don't demand a response- it's frowned upon.
-EDUCATION: A big problem in Haiti is the lack of widespread, good education for all children. Schools often fall into disrepair, lack educated teachers or materials, or are too expensive for some children (some schools are 'free', but require students to wear uniforms they must buy. Children who cannot afford these uniforms cannot attend school). Certainly, schools need money to get proper materials and pay teachers. What I've always thought would be interesting though, is a sort of 'Teacher Exchange Program'. Teachers from countries with very strong education programs could go to Haiti to help teachers there to develop stronger schools. If you think this is a good idea or have another idea, find out if you could do it in your school. (This would be much more likely to happen in private schools that recieve a lot of funding. Public schools recieve money from the government, and it's likely not a sufficient amount of money for the project to work. But ask anyway!)
-HOUSING: Since stable housing is needed, find out what charities are already involved and see if you can help out. The non-profit 'Architecture For Humanity' is involved in designing and building housing in many countries.
-SUSTAINABLE FOOD: Pollution into surrounding waters and destruction of natural resources (by previous dictators, mostly) has led to a shortage of food. While giving food is great, in the long term there must be sustainable resources of food that can employ and feed citizens of Haiti. Here's an idea: sustainable fish farming. (You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can build him a sustainable fish farm and and feed/employ his country forever.) Colleges in your home country could start a program to send students there and have them build or repair fish farms. There are already fish farms there, and fish farming has been very successful in places like Louisiana (for Catfish, etc.) If it's owned by the Haitian government, employs Haitian citizens, and safely/sustainably feeds people, that definitely helps to solve problems.
Well, those are some basic ideas for things you can do individually or with your friends/family/school. And don't forget: a big issue is awareness! While countries usually get a lot of attention after a major disaster (like the earthquake), that attention fades within a few months, often long before the problem is solved. Make sure people know about the problems and what they can do to fix them. And one of the best ways to do this is through art and literature. Thanks again to people who have submitted art, you are raising the awareness of this issue.
There are problems in this world that are impossible to solve completely. But remember- even attempts at impossible goals can still help someone. Aim to save the world and you'll at least save one person. And that can make all the difference.