MyShoppingConnection features my Twin Ruby Heart Necklace in the Valentine's Day Handmade Gift Guide. And now that perusede.etsy.com is running at 2010 sale -- 20% off everything for the month of January -- it's even easier to offer something special to someone special in your life. Go Gorgeous!
I've always been fascinated by complicated, slightly obsessive pursuits. Like making log cabins out of matchsticks. Or folding paper. Well as it turns out, way back in the 6th century, the Chinese were cutting incredibly intricate, symmetric designs out of paper. The practice then apparently spread to other cultures, developing distinct techniques, patterns and motifs along the way.
No longer the lesser-known cousin of origami, the intricate designs of paper cutting now grace museums and exhibitions throughout the world. Some artists use simple materials, such as regular typing/printer paper, while others resort to unexpected materials, such as actual books, as their prime materials.
Check out webdesignerdepot's 100 Extraordinary Examples of Paper Art for more cool pics of some truly amazing artwork.
This is a select list of organizations that offer aid. It is by no means comprehensive, but it comes from a reliable source, AlterNet, a news nonprofit organization that vets its partners thoroughly. Whether you're donating money or political action or time -- every little bit will help the people of Haiti.
- CARE, which have deployed emergency team members to Port-au-Prince to assist in recovery efforts. They're focusing their efforts on rescuing children who may still be trapped in schools that collapsed.
- Oxfam has four offices in Haiti and over 200 highly-experienced aid workers on the ground. They are already responding to the situation where assistance is most needed.
- AmeriCares has already committed $5 million in medical and humanitarian aid, is sending emergency response experts to Haiti, and is currently preparing an emergency airlift to their partners in Haiti.
- Action Aid's Strategic Crisis Fund, which coordinates immediate disbursement of funds for rapid or slow-onset humanitarian response, such as providing medicines, food and shelter to people in need.
- MADRE has activated an emergency response through its partner organization, Zanmi Lasante Clinic.The most urgent needs right now are bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks.The doctors, nurses and community health workers there are working to get bring medical assistance and supplies to areas that have been hardest hit.
Of course other important groups are doing essential work:
Doctors Without Borders operates one of the only free trauma centers in Port-au-Prince as well as an emergency hospital in the capital for pregnant women, new mothers, and newborn children. All three of its primary medical centers have collapsed, but DWB has already set up temporary shelters and is offering emergency care on the ground.
If you want to do something super immediate, Text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti charged to your phone -- Famous musician Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) created this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the most impoverished in his home country of Haiti. The L.A. Times reports Wyclef has already helped raise $400,000 through Yele Haiti for the disaster.
Donate to Partners in Health-- PIH (@pih_org) is already on the ground in Haiti and mobilizing their relief efforts. If you have heard of Paul Farmer, this is the organization he co-founded. Working to provide health care and education to the poorest of Haiti.
There is an important political action to take:
Tell Obama: Grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians living in the US
President Obama has ordered his Department of Homeland Security to temporarily halt all forcible deportations to the disaster zone, but this falls far short of what human rights groups are asking for. He must immediately grant Temporary Protected Status to undocumented Haitian refugees in the U.S. Refugees from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan are afforded this status. To refuse to do so for Haitians would be irresponsible and immoral.
Click here to take action.