In case you haven’t heard, Haiti has been absolutely devastated by a 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday and continues to experiences aftershocks. Around 3,000,000 people have been affected by the quake and they are estimating over 100,000 deaths. It truly is one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. If you want to help those affected in Haiti, you can make a charitable donation today.
Don’t Send Care Packages.
After any natural disaster, people tend to put ship over care packages consisting of clothing, food, medicine, and toys. Don’t do this! While you may think you’re helping, the truth is, these packages just get in the way and hinder the real relief efforts. After the tsunami hit India, another tsunami consisting of care packages overwhelmed the area. Advanced medications that could have saved lives were buried amidst mountains of care packages.
And so in Aceh, Indonesia amid the trauma, hunger and devastation, care packages piled up containing everything from pajamas and teddy bears to birth control pills and Bibles — a hodgepodge impossible to sort through. There were boxes filled with half-used ointments and prescription drugs, as if do-gooders had cleaned out their medicine cabinets. And some unscrupulous corporations — exploiting tax write-offs for soon-to-be-expired pharmaceuticals — apparently shipped whatever had been lying around the warehouse for too long.
It all amounted to a mountain of materials that confounded the efforts of the pros, and made it more difficult to deliver essential supplies on the earthquake-ravaged roads.
Months after the aftershocks stopped, the French aid organization Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres (Pharmacists Without Borders) conducted a study of that second tsunami. In a world where most people lack adequate access to medicine, the results were a travesty.
Read more: Haiti: Help with money, not stuff
If you want to help, donate money.
Where to Donate
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If you want to donate, stick with reputable, well-known charities. Here are a few to help you get started.
- The American Red Cross – They’re one of the biggest organizations helping Haiti. Best of all, you can make your donation online right now by clicking here. You can even donate via your cellphone. Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10. The charge will be added to your bill.
- Two more groups that are already set up to help Haiti are UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders.
- Head over to Charity Navigator to find a compiled list of relief help working in Haiti. You can pick from a number of trustworthy organizations that specialize in different areas of help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Let me know of any other relief organizations you support in the comments below.