Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping Haiti - Alyssa Milano's Twitter Challenge and Others

The pictures coming out of Haiti are devastating. The news is grim.

Everyone wants to help. If you text "Haiti" to 90999 you'll make a $10 donation to the Red Cross; it will be added to your phone bill.

Alyssa Milano has put out a Twitter challenge:

So... it's on! I challenge any corporation to match my $50,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. 100% of every dollar will go directly to supplies that include tarpaulins, water-purification tablets, oral rehydration salts, family water kits, medical supplies, medical kits, food, shelter, and protection.

Via USA Today, here is a list of other ways you can help:

Disaster relief and non-governmental organizations:

  • Action Against Hunger has mobilized an emergency response and has teams already on the ground, assessing and responding to needs;
  • You can make a donation through the American Red Cross' International Response Fund, and it will be allocated specifically for Haiti relief efforts;
  • Doctors Without Borders needs donations to provide crucial medical treatment and supplies;
  • Habitat for Humanity has been working in Haiti for 26 years, and will be sending a team to assess the impact on affordable housing after the earthquake. To make a donation, go here;
  • Mercy Corps has a way for you to donate your money straight to their efforts in Haiti, and Unicef also has a donation site set up;
  • Project HOPE, which provide medical supplies and health care services to those in need, is seeking donations for their aid efforts in Haiti;
  • Quisqueya International Organization Freedom & Development, founded by a former Peace Corps volunteer, is on-the-ground, assisting with relief efforts;
  • The United Nations World Food Program has teams "already on the scene, mobilizing emergency food assistance to families." To support these efforts, you can make an emergency donation here;
  • The United Way is accepting online donations to their United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund, which will directly benefit their relief efforts in Haiti;
  • Yele, an organization set up by musician Wyclef Jean, a native Haitian, is an additional option.

Faith-based organizations:

  • American Jewish World Service is collecting donations for its "Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund," which will help "their network of grantees in Haiti to meet the urgent needs of the population based on real-time, on-the-ground assessments;"
  • Baptist Global Response, which coordinates the mercy efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention, is sending a team from Florida to help for its initial outreach. In addition to donations, the organization asks that concerned individuals join in focused prayer for Haiti's 9 million people;
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has made an initial commitment of 5 million dollars for immediate use in the relief effort. According to their press release, the CRS offices in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, "were shaken, with some damage to the compound walls, but there were no injuries in the building." Donations can be made via their website or by phone at 1-877-HELP-CRS 1-877-HELP-CRS 1-877-HELP-CRS ;
  • Christian Aid Ministries, an Amish-Mennonite organization, has had staff and a distribution network in Haiti for over 20 years. To help earthquake survivors, they are providing search and rescue operations, emergency supplies such as medicines and food, and later on rebuilding of houses. Donations are being accepted through mail or credit card;
  • Compassion International, the world's largest Christian child development program, serves 64,000 sponsored children in Haiti, most near the earthquake zone. Their website allows donors to earmark contributions for Haiti;
  • The Episcopal Diocese of New York, which has Haitian congregations and a partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, is collecting aid both through the diocese and through the national denomination's Episcopal Relief and Development;
  • Islamic Relief USA, in coordination with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is flying a $1 million shipment of aid to Haiti. To donate to their "Haiti Emergency" fund, visit their website or call (888) 479-4968;
  • The Lutheran Church Missouri -- Synod along with their mercy arm, LCMS World Relief and Human Care, announced it was making an initial grant of tens of thousands of dollars available to meet emergency needs. Support their efforts by making a donation here;
  • Operation Blessing International also has disaster relief teams on the way. A donation of $50 or more will bring emergency food, water, medicine and more to the quake victims;
  • The Salvation Army is also sending personnel and supplies to assist in the relief effort, and is in need of donations;
  • Samaritan's Purse, the international aid and development group headed by Rev. Franklin Graham, landed a medical supplies flight with teams of emergency medical workers Wednesday morning and will begin pouring in additional aid as needs become clear.
  • The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has long been working in Haiti. To support their relief efforts, go here;
  • World Vision, a Christian humanitarian charity organization, is also working to help children and families devastated by the quake. To learn more about their efforts and to donate, visit their website.

The fastest way to donate may be by text. Here are several options:

  • Text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross relief efforts;
  • Text Yele to 501 501 to donate $5;
  • Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to United Way Worldwide's disaster fund for long-term recovery.

There are so many options available that it's hard to create accurate lists, but we want to point out a couple worthwhile efforts. Take a minute to check these out if you haven't had luck with the sites we mentioned:

  • Nick Zantop, a blogger, photographer and globetrotter who says she grew up in the Caribbean, has pulled together a comprehensive list of possibilities on Facebook and her blog,;
  • MSNBC has a nice list pulled together;
  • First Coast News in Jacksonville, Fla., has a good list for folks local to the region;
  • also has a round-up, focusing on efforts in New York's Lower Hudson Valley.

It's tough to watch this video of veteran war correspondent Steve Harrigan break down as he describes the devastation to Shepard Smith.

If you can't give any cash, say a prayer. They're going to need it. They're going to need lots of that.

1 comment:

Red said...

God help them. God and those with a mind and heart to give.