I did hold off on this post, mostly to verify legit help sites, but also because I was busy collecting canned goods and blood for some local efforts. It’s winter in Chicago, and my normal routine is to help the homeless here not freeze. I didn’t want to take away from that, so it took a bit to catch up and sort out so no one gets short changed.
Anyone who has lived through a natural disaster knows how terrifying they are. Personally I find fires the worst, since you can spend days watching the fire get closer and closer before, finally, they decide it’s time for you to evacuate. Earthquakes, though, unlike pretty much every other disaster, have no warning signs yet. Oh, we know that California’s due a big one, and scientists have been saying for years that Haiti was eventually going to have one as well. Alas, they’re almost always right.
What can you do to help? Glad you asked!
Google’s donating a million on their own and have an easy way to donate to UNICEF and CARE on their webpage Support Disaster Relief in Haiti. They’ve also listed the (US only) organizations that are accepting SMS donations:
- SMS text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief
- SMS text “YELE” to 501501 to Donate $5 to Yele Haiti’s Earthquake Relief
@VickiiBee reports that Canadians can text “HAITI” to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army’s relief effort.
For those of us who don’t like texting money, and I understand that. The following sites will accept cash and in-kind donations directly: UNICEF (1-800-4UNICEF), Direct Relief, Yele Haiti, Partners in Health, Red Cross, World Food Program, Mercy Corps (1-888-256-1900), Save the Children, Lambi Fund, Doctors Without Borders, The International Rescue Committee, and Care.
Finally, if you feel the need to get hands-on, I do want to caution that there’s no easy way to get to Haiti right now. But you can donate blood. It’s always going to be needed. Chicago has LifeSource but you can hit up the Red Cross to find a local place near you.
Please share your local links in the comment section here. I know this is the exact sort of thing the JFO Nation tends to get behind.