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Haiti Relief

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Written by Basil on 01/19/2010 10:57 PM. Filed under:


It has been almost a week since the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Carrefour (car-FOO), Haiti, just southwest of Port-au-Prince, the capital.

I suspect that my church’s charitable organization is funneling funds to other charities with resources on the ground in Haiti; this is good but not exactly efficient. With that in mind, here are some charities that already have resources in Haiti.

The easiest way to get some money to Haitian relief efforts is to pick up your phone and text “Haiti” to 90999. This will charge $10 to your phone bill and give it to the American Red Cross, which has had a presence in Haiti for 5 years. Twitter: @RedCross

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) has been in Haiti since 1991. Twitter: @msf_usa

The New York Times Haiti Earthquake Recovery group on Facebook posted a list of the top ten most efficient charities in Haiti from Charity Navigator, a non-profit group dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of charities and protecting donors from fraud and waste. Twitter: @CharityNav.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the efforts of several missionary friends of mine. Quisqueya Christian School in Port-au-Prince is still standing, miraculously. As a result, it has become a center for relief efforts. A nearby orphanage collapsed, and it is providing housing for the newly homeless orphans. It is also providing space for doctors to treat the many people wounded in the earthquake. Many of the staff lost homes and family and are living in tents on the football (soccer) field. There is a PayPal link on their webpage. Charity Navigator has not rated their effectiveness; I can only offer you my assurance that the people I know who run the school, as well as alumni, are of the highest caliber. They do not have a Twitter account.

A letter today from my church’s charitable organization strengthened my suspicion that they do not have their own resources on the ground in Haiti. I believe they are simply funneling funds and resources to other charitable organizations. This is good, because many people give to charities they know and trust without researching their capabilities and infrastructure. I hope this article provides you with other outlets, should you desire to make more efficient use of your donations.

(Aside: My thoughts are intended only for individuals trying to decide where to give their money. If your local parish is participating by collecting funds or necessary items, such as toiletries, please participate fully. If it is not, encourage your priest or pastor to organize something locally.)


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