"Tithe Wall Street bonuses for Haiti" is rising call and web campaign from CWS
As a rising wave calling for complete debt relief for Haiti is breaking even on the floors of Davos this week, the head of global humanitarian agency Church World Service this morning called for Wall Street's financial industry leaders to tithe their bonuses for the reconstruction of Haiti following the earthquake disaster that killed more than 100,000 people and destroyed much of Port-au-Prince and the country's fragilely functioning infrastructure.
A family in Port-au-Prince made homeless by the Jan. 12 quake. Tithing bonuses for Haiti could jumpstart long-term recovery.
Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
NEW YORK, NY--As a rising wave calling for complete debt relief for Haiti is breaking even on the floors of Davos this week, the head of global humanitarian agency Church World Service this morning called for Wall Street's financial industry leaders to tithe their bonuses for the reconstruction of Haiti following the earthquake disaster that killed more than 100,000 people and destroyed much of Port-au-Prince and the country's fragilely functioning infrastructure.
"As a relief and development agency that has worked in Haiti beginning in 1954, Church World Service has seen the dire challenges, strife and unremitting, abject poverty that the people of Haiti have experienced for generation after generation," said agency executive director and CEO the Rev. John L. McCullough.
"Although prior to the earthquake the Haitian government had been making positive steps in terms of forwarding a viable economic direction, the burdens of hunger and poverty had not lessened while the rest of the world's interest in Haiti had," he said.
"This month's catastrophic earthquake is not only an unforgettable tragedy but a wake-up call to rich nations of the world," said McCullough, whose aid workers and their longtime local Haitian partner agencies are now assisting survivors on the island along with other international humanitarian groups.
"We have no choice now but to come together, collaboratively, once and for all, to assist the people of Haiti," he said, "not simply to recover from what was the worst natural disaster in this hemisphere, but to assist them as they build, for the first time in their history, a country and a life that reflects and respects their indomitable spirit."
CWS is also urging complete forgiveness of Haiti's remaining debts.
"Last Friday's 'Hope for Haiti Now' telethon made a powerful statement about our common humanity," said McCullough. "Now is the perfect moment for executives in the financial sector to make an equally powerful statement about corporate social responsibility, by tithing their bonuses towards the longer and arduous challenge of redeveloping Haiti."
McCullough noted the irony in the fact that, "Despite a continuing tough economy, persistently high jobless rate and the alarming increase of homeless families in the U.S., the American people managed to contribute to the $61 million raised in the one-night benefit for the Haitian people."
At the same time, said McCullough, "More Wall Street bankers and traders this year are expecting to receive massive bonuses than last year, despite public outrage over the industry’s seeming impunity to its own role in the economic meltdown."
"We're inviting all Americans to join the call and invite Wall Street to offer ten percent of those bonuses to Haiti. Consider it a sacrificial offering. Consider it seed money to jumpstart the reconstruction and development that we hope world leaders will now fully commit to while in Davos this week."
People are already joining the "Bonus4Haiti" tithing call to Wall Street now, signing on to CWS's Facebook Cause page, tweeting the campaign to others, and raising the shoutout volume virally through the Internet, with the message, "Tell corporate CEOs that to whom much is given, much is expected. Please tithe your bonuses to Haiti!"
Meanwhile, former U.S. President and United Nations special representative for Haiti Bill Clinton has announced intentions for a major initiative to engage businesses in the reconstruction of Haiti for an extended period of time.
How to help Haiti
For more information, visit the CWS Facebook Cause and sign the petition, or see our Fanpage at www.facebook.com/churchworldservice.
Those wishing to contribute to the Church World Service disaster response for Haiti can do so online at www.churchworldservice.org/haiti by phoning (800) 297-1516; or by mailing to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (please indicate Haiti Earthquake).
Recognized as one of America's Most Efficient Charities, Church World Service has earned an "A" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and was named one of the Top 100 Highly Rated Charities by GiveSpot.com.