The people of Haiti need our help now...
After a few conversations with people over the last couple days it is clear to me that some people don't realize the extent of the devastation that this earthquake has caused, and it's understandable because most people have not and never will experience such a thing. The reality is the full extent of this disaster has yet to be realized. The initial earthquake decimated the countries modest infrastructure leaving the Haitian people with little to no means of sustaining day to day life let alone recovery. There are still people trapped in the rubble, children left without parents, food or shelter, civil unrest and the constant threat of disease outbreak.
There has been a massive global aid response, however, getting help where it is needed is still a challenge because the airport is heavily damaged, many roads and bridges are impassable, docks are unreachable and the communication system is crippled.
How can we help?
There are hundreds of great aid organizations that are taking donations to provide relief to Haitibut there are also scams out there. Here are some resources to help you help the people of Haiti:
Here's a quick way to donate: Text the phrase “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. Your donation will appear on your next cell phone bill. Check out MobileGiving.org for more ways to donate via text message.
Here are just a few of the organizations you can feel safe handling your donations:
- American Red Cross
- Mercy Corps
- United Nations Foundation/CERF
- Oxfam America
- World Vision
- UNICEF USA
- Direct Relief International
- Doctors Without Borders
- The Salvation Army
More resources to help you avoid fraud and insure your donation gets where it's needed:
- Charity Watch: The American Institute of Philanthropy is a nonprofit charity watchdog and information service. Their aim is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to charity by providing donors with the information they need to make more informed giving decisions. You can visit their site and see a list of confirmed reputable and well performing charities, a charity rating guide, and tips on how to make sure you money is getting where it is needed.
- Charity Navagator: An independent charity evaluator that works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,400 of America's largest charities.
- Scam Busters: A website dedicated to busting scams online has published a list of scams exploiting the Haiti disaster and give you tips on how to avoid getting scammed.
- BBB: The Better Business Bureau is providing a list of reputable charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti, tips on how to vet a charity, and tips on text donations.
- FTC: The Federal Trade Commissioin's "Avoid Charity Fraud" page provides information to help consumers do just that.
- CNN's Impact Your World: A great resource providing a list of charitable organizations and other resources to help you impact your world.
Stay up to date:
- CNN: CNN's complete coverage page is my favorite source for updates on Haiti. It's well organized and updated frequently.
- New York Times: The New York Times starts with a primer then lists their coverage. This is very useful for someone who is coming into this a few days late and needs to get the background before reading the breaking news.
- Google News: Access to pretty much any news that's being reported.
- Google Maps: Working with satellite imaging company GeoEye, Google updated its satellite view of Haiti to show the devastation of Tuesday's earthquake.
The People of Haiti need our help now!