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Ways to Serve Haiti

January 14, 2010

From our friends at ServiceNation

Yesterday’s earthquake in Haiti was absolutely devastating, and our hearts and sympathies go out to the people of Haiti as they begin the painful process of digging out, saving lives, and starting the long, long road to recovery.

The White House immediately put out this response, with the President saying “My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti.”

Hard as it may be to imagine, this earthquake was even worse for Haiti than Katrina was for us. And in the aftermath of Katrina, the thousands of Americans who stepped forward to serve brought vital hope and support to fellow humans suffering tremendous loss and adversity. The citizens of Haiti desperately need a similar response, and ServiceNation is working to help support the relief efforts already underway.

Here is a great resource to track what is going on: the Haiti Wiki created by a fascinating new group called Crisis Commons.

And here is an initial list of ways you can respond.

1) Our partners at the American Red Cross are already in action, as they always are when disaster strikes (read the latest here). The best way to help the Red Cross do the work that needs to be done in Haiti is to text “Haiti” to 90999, which will automatically contribute $10 to Red Cross relief efforts. If you would like to donate more, and/or prefer not to donate by text, you can make a direct donation to the Red Cross International Response Fund here.

2) The great people at Mercy Corps are also in action, deploying an emergency response team (you can follow what is happening on Mercy Corp’s blog). You can support Mercy Corp’s efforts by making a donation here. You can also set up your own Haiti fundraising page to help Mercy Corps here.

3) Our friends at Huffington Post Impact have set up a great page where you can track news, and all the ways you can help. The page will be frequently updated. Here’s what the page has so far:

The American Red Cross is pledging an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by this earthquake. They expect to provide immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. They are accepting donations through their International Response Fund.

UNICEF has issued a statement that “Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them.” UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.

•Donate through Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti. Text “Yele” to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.

Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

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