When an earthquake devastated Haiti last year, Americans as a nation, and as individuals, rushed to the aid of the island nation, pouring in millions of dollars to help in the rescue and rebuilding efforts. Even today, we are still seeing commercials urging us to donate to Haitian relief.

In March, when an earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan, Americans again were the first to respond with humanitarian efforts, donating money and sending volunteers to assist those in need.

My son lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was leveled by tornadoes thirteen days ago. My son was lucky in that he was not injured, but the next street over was obliterated.  Hundreds of people across the South were killed or are still missing, and thousands more were left homeless.

So where is our foreign aid? What foreign countries are sending relief personnel, food, water, or money to Tuscaloosa, or Ringgold, Georgia, or Arkansas, Mississippi, or any of the other places hit by the tornadoes?

Right now, the Mississippi River is flooding hundreds of people out of their homes. Can you name one foreign country who has come to help? One who has sent a penny in aid? Why is that?

Why are there no telethons raising money to help our own people in the South? Why doesn’t Yahoo have a button on their front page urging us to donate to tornado relief efforts? They did for Haiti and Japan!

Why do we Americans feel the need to help out anybody and everybody, even our enemies, but yet nobody ever steps up to the plate for us? I believe that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Canada sent some folks down to help in search and rescue efforts. But who else has ever been there for us in our time of need?

I can’t turn on my television at night without some syrupy voice urging me to donate to help starving kids in some Third World nation, and it has become fashionable to adopt foreign children. But what about the children right here in America who need a home?

Why are we rebuilding Haiti and Japan, when our own infrastructure is crumbling? Why do American doctors and nurses volunteer to go to other countries to run free clinics, while children and the elderly in this country go without the medical care they need? Who is coming to help us? Who ever comes to help us?

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15 Comments on Where’s Our Foreign Aid?

  1. Francis Callahan says:

    We should of stopped all foriegn aid years ago. We are not res ponsable for the rest of the world. My dad always said you don’t buy shoes for the neighbors till your own have shoes.There are people here in the US who need help and a good number of kids go to bed hungry each night. But you don’t get your name in the paper for helping the family down the street. All the charitys for the forign places should be stopped till all americans are taken care of.

  2. George says:

    I hear you Nick. We need to take care of our own first. We live in such a make believe world. Hopefully Americans wake up and take our country back before it is too late.

  3. Gary says:

    Nick you did it again, hit the nail on the head. Go back to 911, other than a few condolences how much aid did we get from other countries? I too feel we should stop helping other countries that only want us for a hand out. When we as Americans have our act together than by all means give freely to other countries. At least I feel the government should stop freely giving away our tax payer monies to all the countries than hate us.

  4. Fred Hammer says:

    Now, George’s last comment trips my trigger! Exactly what is meant when anyone says we need to “take our country back?”

    Back to what? Back from what? And in what manner? Is it a matter of voting a certain way? Imposing term limits on congress? (Good luck with that one.) Is it a more active stance by our churches? Is it “correcting” some idiot whose lifestyle is injurious both to himself and others?

    Platitudes rule.

  5. Marty says:

    Nick, U’re right about helping at home first. However, During the aftermath of Katrina, a large number of countries sent help/aid (S&R Teams, supplies, money). The list was long and you would be surprised at who they were. I wish I could remember where I read the information. Their was so much provided, that the US turned a lot way, while cargo ships sat and waited to unload their cargo.

  6. Dale says:

    One of the best ways to help ourselves would be to get the large companies from outsourcing which means Congress has to start looking out for the “little” guy, not just the corporate money source. It is time that we show Congress that each vote adds up and for that reason I like organizations like Working America.

  7. Camille says:

    The part of your post that bothers me the most is the part about “adopting foreign children has become fashionable.” That hits home because I have two nieces adopted from China. The reason my sister and her husband adopted from abroad was two-fold. One, the laws in this country give the birth mother six months to change her mind. Two, many babies born in this country and others are born to mothers addicted to drugs and alcohol. As a rule, Chinese babies are healthier, as their drug laws in China are very stringent. As you can see, the reasons have nothing to do with “fashion.”

    I believe that there is a special place in heaven reserved for anyone who is willing to raise someone elses child, whether adopted from this country, a foreign country, whether it be a grandparent or other relative. Every child deserves a home and family.

  8. Dennis M says:

    Boy, there are some seriously self centered attitudes here!

    Why do we help? It’s simply because we have more! In spite of our current economic struggles we are still the wealthiest country in the world with arguably the best standard of living.

    “But you don’t get your name in the paper for helping the family down the street.” If that is your criteria I feel sorry for you. We give because we can; we help because we can. All of the world’s religions ( and humanity itself) call out for you to help others in need.

    When we have a natural disaster we are still perfectly capable of taking care of it ourselves – others are not so fortunate. I can just hear the screams and anguish coming from the “take our country back” crowd if the Chinese started flying in plane loads of emergency supplies to Alabama!

  9. Larry says:

    I think any American farmer should be thankful we have Foreign AID. The Food For Peace program has shipped American grain overseas for many years and helped support these farmers as well as helping the recipients.

    Foreign AID has many forms. Buy American is a key component of the AID program and helps our US Firms such as Caterpiller, John Deere and many heavy equipment companies, even though the recipient can buy from another country cheaper.

    The US makes Loans & Grants to these countries also. Loans are repaid while Grants are not.

    The US welfare system takes care of millions of Americans in many different forms. Poorer countries do not have the funds or programs like the US has available to take care of their needy.

    We are perceived to be the wealthiest nation in the world and when we contribute to less fortunate countries I feel that is a good thing. It helps promote good will for the US and even though we don’t always receive credit, the people rccognize the US for the contributions.

    I think people should be more informed on what foreign aid actually accomplishes rather than shooting from the hip and putting it down.

    It is not generally known that many countries provided assistance during Katrina and also that the US declined assistance from other countries.

    When you look at the total foreign assistance economic aid given by the US in relation to our total budget, it is a very small amount. Very small.

    Yes, I am speaking from first hand knowledge since I was a Foreign Service Officer for the U S Agency for International Development for 23 years. USAID When the people in Africa saw the bags of food with the USAID emblem on it they KNEW where the aid came from. Many countries have received aid from the US and have moved into productive nations as a result of the AID. Look up the Marshal Plan right after WWII.

    Let the flames begin.

  10. Charles says:

    Dennis M says: “Boy, there are some seriously self centered attitudes here!”

    Total agreement with this statement!!

    Larry says:”Let the flames begin.”

    The only flames will be from the “yes, you’re right”, “right on” crowd who never think things out and just agree.

  11. Jim@HiTek says:

    I agree with Larry and I’ll add something else…you really have to dig into the news to find any mention of the aid offered the US during and after times of crisis or disaster. Generally, the news media is so busy focusing on tearful families that lost someone, or the numerous churches flattened by a tornado that you never hear of it. Newspapers are usually the only media outlet that mentions it. Hundreds of offers of aid were given after Katrina and 9-11, including search teams, disaster specialists, monetary aid, etc. Even the Belgians offered help designing sea walls in New Orleans.

    The US news media does such a poor job reporting international news to the citizens of this country that it is not unusual that most people have no idea how much help is offered.

  12. bucky says:

    I agree with Camille, My neice is a single woman serving as a Lt Cornel in the US Army, and when she tried to adopt here, she was turned down because she was not married, even thought she is proving to be a better parent then many I have seen. Her daughter came from Gutemala, and is now a loving and caring 8 year old…. I don’t like all the illegal immigration going on in this country. But I have no problem allowing our citizens who can’t qualify here, even when they have the finances, and desire to suport a child and have them their lives …….

  13. T & R Martin says:

    WOW, The United States is RICH!!! Yay, yay, now we can pay down that deficit and not pass the debt on to our children, grandchildren & all future generations. SOMEBODY ALERT THE MEDIA!

  14. Dale says:

    T&R: Yes, this country is rich. Check out all of the financials and don’t just trust what you hear on the TV.

    And our economy is improving – the number of jobs being creates keeps increasing and the health of our many corporations is also improving. Fast enough? Not for many folks but you got to take the first step and keep walking.

    And yes we have a deficit and it will be slowly wittled down if we keep on a good course. The USA did stimulus and Great Britain did financial cutting and the US is recovering more rapidly.

    Does the rate of improvement help all of those who are out of work or who need medical assistance? Not yet, but it will. The one thing this country is now lacking is patience – the method by which we became the great country we are today.

    In the meantime, we need to help each other wherever and in whatever way we can. When growing up I was taught to always help others – weren’t you?

  15. Chris says:

    Because we are the land of plenty…plenty of debt

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