>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

image from here

The news from Haiti is overwhelming, and it's times like these when I wish I had more skills, abilities, and means to contribute to rescue and aid efforts in more substantial ways. However, I know that all donations, in any amount matter. Here are some reputable organizations through which to donate money (of any amount) that will get to Haiti.

American Jewish World Service's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. AJWS is a Jewish-led organization but works with communities around the world and is non-sectarian in their servicework and donation distribution.

Partners in Health Haiti Relief Fund. Founded by doctor and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, PIH has been working in Haiti for over 20 years. They have an infrastructure set up to disperse medical and other aid.

charity: water is coordinating with Partners in Health and Concern Worldwide to get clean water, food, medicine, and other desperately needed supplies to Haitians.  

World Vision, another organization that has been operating in Haiti for decades, is distributing relief supplies.

Mercy Corps has started deploying their staff to Haiti. While they haven't been in Haiti before, they are experienced in providing relief in the aftermath of earthquakes. Several friends of mine have worked for them, and they are a solid organization -- 89% of donated funds go directly to those in need.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres lost some of their staff in the earthquake, but they have been treated injured people and are sending more staff and supplies.

Text "HAITI" to "90999" to donate $10 to the Red Cross (this is an effort designed and coordinated through the State Department and seems to only work from within the US).

Text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti (an effort started by Wyclef Jean). Read more here.

[I hate texting, but like when it's used for a good cause.]

There are plenty more ways to give, and giving within your means, whatever they are, will help. While the earthquake was unpreventable, the degree of devastation was preventable. Political decisions as well as geological events combined to wreak this havoc (for an analysis of how human decision-making amplifies or reduces the impact of nature, see Eric Klinenberg's Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago), and the least we can do is support relief efforts in Haiti.


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