If you're spending this fine summer evening planning your next vacation, maybe you'd like to consider a more meaningful trip, like a humanitarian mission to Haiti. Hmm... how much would that cost?
Preventive Health Strategies, the non-profit organization belonging to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth, has organized medical mission trips to Haiti. According to an October 2011 PHS fundraising letter for one such trip, the cost of an eight-day mission trip to Haiti is $5,000 per participant:
COST BREAKDOWN PER PERSON FOR 8 DAYS
- Flight Ticketing and Processing $1200
- Taxes/surcharges, etc.$100
- Meals, safe water & meals preparation: $1000
- Lodging, Housekeeping, Cleaning, Bedding, Gas/Electric: $400
- Interpreter: $1000
- Medical Supplies: $800
- Transportation (in country) buses, trains, rental van/w/auto Insurance: $500
- Total Per Person: $5,000 [Preventive Health Strategies fundraising letter, publicized on Facebook 2011.10.26, downloaded from Google Docs 2013.07.20]
$5,000 per traveler, for eight days of mission work in Haiti, plus a ninth day to fly home. O.K. Now let's compare prices with some other non-profit mission groups:
- Group Mission Trips: 8-day itinerary, $699, not including airfare (NIA)
- Servant Life: 8-day itinerary, $699 NIA
- Haiti Outreach Ministries: $35/day lodging, $2000 to supply one-week medical clinic, depending on team size
- Archbishop Spalding HS (2011), 8-day, $800 includes flight!
- Medical Student Missions: one week, $800 NIA, estimated airfare $475-$1250.
I've heard that the trip the SDSU men's basketball team took to Haiti this year to distribute shoes cost about $2,000 per person. I invite confirmation and evaluation of the relative cost of shoes versus medicine.
However, I'm looking at the above online data and seeing a number of organizations that can apparently send a lot of people to do a lot of good in Haiti for a fraction of the cost that Dr. Bosworth's Preventive Health Strategies claims it needs in its fundraising materials.
Hmm... perhaps when candidate Bosworth gets around to offering specific proposals for balancing the federal budget, maybe we'll need to divide her expenditure estimates by 2.5.