Four ways to help the people of Haiti

by Terry B on January 14, 2010

The food blogging community has proven itself time and again to be generous, warm and caring, always ready to share. The people of Haiti are in desperate need of your generosity right now.

Living in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haitians face daily struggles in the best of times. But the devastating earthquake has left many of them injured, homeless and without food or water. According to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as much as a third of the nation’s population—about 3 million people—has been affected by the quake.

The best way to help is money. Donations in whatever amount you can give. Here are four organizations that will put your generosity to good use.

American Red Cross. This organization is channeling aid directly to Haiti’s robust Red Cross, which is already in place to deliver it. Making a donation is as easy as using your cellphone. You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross relief for Haiti. You can also make donations to their International Response Fund online.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. This excellent organization already has boots on the ground in Haiti. They were working on medical projects there before the quake hit and immediately began setting up clinics to help the injured. You can make donations at the Doctors Without Borders website.

Partners In Health. PIH’s mission is “to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care.” They are also already in Haiti. In fact, they opened their first clinic there in 1985. You can contribute to their efforts by making a donation at the Partners In Health website.

Yéle Haiti. Founded by Haiti-born musician Wyclef Jean in 2005, Yéle’s community service programs include food distribution and mobilizing emergency relief. You can make a donation to the organization by texting “Yele” to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund [it will be charged to your cellphone bill]. You can also make donations at the Yéle Haiti website.

Be generous, but be careful.

Unfortunately, when any natural disaster strikes, there are plenty of scam artists ready to make a buck off our instinct to help. Make sure you know who you’re donating to. The four organizations above are good choices, and there are plenty of others.

The FBI has issued a Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert to help you avoid wasting money on fraudulent operations. It is filled with useful advice to make sure your donations get to worthwhile organizations.

Again, please be generous. The need is great. Feel free to post a link to this post on Twitter, Facebook or your own blog. And if you know of other ways to make donations, please share them in the comments below. [Only list one URL in your comment—otherwise, you'll get kicked into my always busy spam folder.]

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ciaochowlinda January 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Thank you so much for helping people find out about where to donate to these truly needy people of Haiti.

Terry B January 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Thanks, Linda. I’m glad to see you’ve given people ways to donate on your blog too.

Dani H January 15, 2010 at 1:14 am

Thanks for putting these resources together, Terry. Such a tragic situation, but at least money can help.

Christine January 15, 2010 at 1:24 am

Thanks for compiling this list. After listening to the discouraging news on NPR tonight, Haiti needs everyone of us to pitch in.

Barbara January 15, 2010 at 1:56 am

Good information. Catholic Relief Services is also is working hard on the streets of Haiti. They also are rated as using donations very efficiently. Peace!

Terry B January 15, 2010 at 2:31 am

Glad to do it, Dani. Marion actually did most of the legwork on this post. In this case, money is the thing that can help most. They don’t have the infrastructure in place to accept the help of non-professional volunteers.

Christine—Yes, the news is discouraging. On the other hand, it sounds like people around the world are stepping up to the challenge.

Thanks for the tip, Barbara. Here’s a link to Catholic Relief Services.

soldier January 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Be careful what you donate. There are many crooks trying to rip of the public with requests for funds for the Haitian people. With our government donating 100 million dollars, we must demand accountablity from the Haitian government. We – and other nations- have donated million of dollars and the people still suffer. The whole country is in shambles and need to be build- from basic services to honest elected officials. It owuld be a shame if we donate all these funds and business go as usual.

Terry B January 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I understand your concerns, soldier, but the need for the most basic aid is desperate right now. Tens of thousands of people need food, water, shelter and medical help. Yes, corruption is found everywhere, even in our own country, but we can’t let that excuse us from lending a hand. And with so many organizations already in Haiti and more headed there to help and oversee the efforts, including the US military, I think that much of this aid will get to the people who need it.

On a longer term note, organizations like Partners In Health haven’t just been going in and providing aid—they’ve been helping the people of Haiti build their own clinics and hospitals, helping them create self-operated, sustainable resources. If you give people the tools to help themselves, you create lasting change.

lins January 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

I would steer away from Yele Haiti but by all means give generously to other sites mentioned here (Mercy Corps is another great one). Please read this article from ABC News about Yele Haiti and their questionable spending practices: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=9577218

Terry B January 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for the information on Yele Haiti, Lins. And for the tip on Mercy Corps. It’s important to give, but give wisely.

Lee Street, Jr. January 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I’m a student at Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies. I’m writing a 10 page paper on resources that help people in need. Do anyone Know the name of the companies that’s helping people in Hati ?

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