My childrens' school is collecting money for Haiti - milk dimes, errant quarters, toonies and loonies and paper money shaken from piggy banks and caged in return for chores. It's a lovely thing that our kids are so concerned for other children so far away.
It's hard to know what is just-enough-and-not-too-much to tell my young'uns so that they'll grasp the situation and yet not be horrified into bad dreams. We've talked about how the people that were struck hardest by this disaster were the ones who really didn't have anything to begin with, how we, who have so much, can help these people that we'll never meet by sending a little money so they'll have things like fresh water. Or something to eat. Or maybe a pillow and a blanket.
My daughter's class is young and confused by how someone's house could just disappear. They've been drawing pictures to send to children in Haiti, full of rainbows and smiling faces and birds holding hands. So, she explained, they'll have something beautiful until this is all fixed. Until this all goes away.