Discover Ways That You Can Help Haiti Survivors

All about the Haiti Earth Quake and the various resources available to make donations

The Haiti earthquake is a disaster that most of us cannot even imagine, with all the destruction and lives lost. It is beyond our visualization the thousands and thousands of lives lost, still missing and injured. It is estimated that a third of Haiti’s 9 million people are in need of aid. What is so devastating as well is that these poor people need so much help and it is quite difficult at this time to deliver supplies to them. However, the efforts continue to surface as we do find ways to get in there with the much needed relief (food, water and other aid) and assistance for the lives that have been spared. The efforts have been obstructed by blocked roads, congestion at the airports, limited equipment among other obstacles. People are in such desperation that there have also been reports of looting as people scrambled for any of the little food and water that may be available.

Needless to say, our help is desperately needed and we need to open our hearts to do what we can. Certainly many of us cannot afford the most amounts of financial aid but if all us give any little bit we can provide, in quantity we are saving lives. When we see the tortured, sad eyes and faces of those people, especially those poor children, how can it not break our hearts?

One of the responders to the Tuesday disaster is the American Red Cross. They are working around the clock to meet the challenges and ensure aid reaches the survivors. They have dozens of disaster specialists in Haiti, assessing the damage, addressing urgent needs and establishing the foundation for a long-term recovery operation. The Red Cross team includes engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists, who are trying to establish field hospitals, restore water and sanitation systems, distribute supplies and restore family links facilities.

Thus far, the American Red Cross has received 37 million dollars in donations, half through online contributions with others through support from corporations and record-setting activity in mobile giving. Our illustrious First Lady Michelle Obama sent a message out to all, asking people to join her in supporting the American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. We can help the American Red Cross as it delivers the food, water and medicine that can save lives. Donate $10 by texting “HAITI” to 9-0-9-9-9, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. All help is greatly needed and appreciated.

UNICEF is also very involved in the humanitarian operation in Haiti to provide much needed relief and support. Their efforts are also to supply the lifesaving need of food, water, medicines and shelter. Nearly 50% of Haiti's population is under the age of 18, and UNICEF has a particularly critical role to play in seeking approximately $120 million for its work as part of the humanitarian relief efforts. If this is where you would like to make donations to help this distraught country for the ongoing emergency relief efforts in Haiti and the Caribbean region, please visit: www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake or call 1-800-4UNICEF. UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood.

It is amazing how so many people have pulled together at this difficult time . . . and that we should. It is so heartwarming to witness the kindnesses of so many corporations, companies, and celebrities. Unity is needed the most and we can all do our part, no matter how big or small.

There is an unending channel of support out there from the Catholic Relief fund (Secure.CRS.org), FoodForThePoor.org/haitiquake, www.habitat.org/Haiti-Earthquake, www.clintonfoundation.org/haitirelief, and others such as the International Federation of Red Cross, Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Fund, Partners in Health, and the UN World Food Program. Many local banks have also set up funds for acquiring donations to the earth quake victims.

Unfortunately at this time there are also scammers who will be coming out of the wood work asking for donations, clothing and valuables so be wary of your choice of charity and be sure it is a reputable organization. Lisa Madigan from here in Illinois advises that those giving such donations ask the charity about their transportation and distribution plans and for all to generally be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.

Several local organizations and churches in local cities are organizing their own efforts to donate to this distressing cause, giving individuals more options. Some of the organizations here in Illinois include some of the state banks, the Illinois lottery, the Chicago Cubs, Food 4 Less Stores, Lutheran Churches and more. Get on line and find all the information and resources you can, and pour your heart out to the needs of all those men, women and adorable suffering children. They need your help and support, providing you with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction in knowing that, in some little way, you have made a difference.

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Jane Thomas
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Ngozi Nwabineli
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carol roach
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Don Baird
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Posted on Jan 16, 2010