A Disaster in Haiti and How You Can Help

Posted by Cheryl Mills
January 13, 2010

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquakeAbout the Author: Cheryl Mills serves as the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier today, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti. Reports are still coming in, but it appears that many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed, adding more suffering to an already impoverished nation, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Reports continue to pour in from all over and we are extending all our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected.

As Secretary Clinton said earlier, the U.S. government will offer assistance to Haiti and others in the region in the form of civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. You may email inquiries to: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov. We'll provide more details and opportunities to help as we learn more. To stay up-to-date, follow us on state.gov.

Update:Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information.You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.How To Help:Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red CrossRelated entry:Information on Earthquake in Haiti

Comments

Comments

John S.
|
Saint Barthélemy
January 14, 2010

John S. in Saint Barthelemy writes:

I would like to volunteree to help any way i can....on the ground in Haiti. How can that happen?
Please let me know options

Barbara D.
|
Illinois, USA
January 14, 2010

Barbara and Les D. in Illinois write:

Thank you for providing this info re donations. We have donated to UNICEF Children's Fund. Appreciate MSNBC's attention to this terrible tragedy.

JUSTUS O.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 14, 2010

Justus O. in New Jersey writes:

I'm a 35yr old Registered Nurse,Am interested and available to volunteer and help in Haiti during this disaster.Can i be linked to a group for a short period of time to be part of the Humanitarian team to Haiti.

ARY
|
New Jersey, USA
January 14, 2010

Ary in New Jersey writes:

My heart goes out to the people of Haiti. I'm a Firefighter/EMT and want to know if anyone has info on rescue efforts and how to get involved, I'm willing to volunteer. Please post the info.

Tony A.
|
New York, USA
January 14, 2010

Tony A. in New York writes:

The text message 90999 to donate $10.00 to the Red Cross relief effort is fast and easy.
Please make a contribution and send your thoughts and prayers to the fine people of Haiti.

Steve O.
|
New Mexico, USA
January 14, 2010

Steve and Cicilia O. in New Mexico write:

Our prayers go out to all the people from Haiti.May God be with you and all the families that have lost loved ones.

Cassy
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 14, 2010

Cassy in Washington, DC writes:

Where can I offer relief assistance? Translation services?

Fran A.
|
Maryland, USA
January 14, 2010

Fran A. in Maryland writes:

Those poor people will be in my prayers tonight and every night. I wish I could do more than pray and donate.......

Kathleen
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Kathleen in California writes:

The text messaging for the donation of $10 to help Haiti does work! What a great idea from the people of Red Cross. Everyone should forward that onto all friends, family members, etc. so we can help the nation with this disaster.

My thoughts & prayers go out to all in Haiti & people in the US with family there.

Niels P.
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Niels P. in California writes:

Haiti will be needing our help for years to come. Beyond the immediate need for "urban search and rescue" teams, the next need will be for our military to step in to keep the looting down. And finally, don't we have a unique opportunity to help rebuild Port-au-Prince to a higher standard?

Evans
|
New Hampshire, USA
January 14, 2010

Evans in New Hampshire writes:

Sympathy to the Haitian people.
Any international Help should not be directed to the haitian Government. All Supports should be through an International Agency. And any reconstruction help should be done in accord with the Haiti Government, but with the control management and leadership of the fund providers. Only the agreement is needed from the Haiti Government.

Thanks.

Jen
|
Oregon, USA
January 14, 2010

Jen in Oregon writes:

I have texted donations before for other charities - for those that have questions about this, the 90999 belongs to a charity that receives 100% of your money and the charges show up on your monthly bill. For example, Sprint sends them $10 on my behalf and then charges me the $10 on my bill. Very simple and if everyone gave $10, think how much money could go to this relief effort! Please consider doing this, everyone - think how far $10 can go for those people in Haiti and for the costs associated with rebuilding. $10 for me is a week's worth of coffee in the morning on my way to work - I will happily give up that luxury to give to the Red Cross.

Wesley P.
|
Texas, USA
January 14, 2010

Wesley P. in Texas writes:

Giving to charity is fine. You can give away all you've got to help the underpriveleged, then you will be poor also. There's something about economic self preservation. The USA government has a big debt. I hope you realize that money to pay for assistance to Haiti is all going to be money the USA Government borrows. Please don't drive us broker than we already are secretary Clinton. The big national dent hurts our economy significantly. Thanks Wesley P.

Caroline F.
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Caroline F. in California writes:

So many of us are unemployed and cannot afford to send money. I am willing to ask my community to donate supplies of whatever is needed. We can use our school as a dropping off point, but we need to know what is needed and who can collect if we do this?

Please advise. Thanks

Melissa
|
North Carolina, USA
January 14, 2010

Melissa in North Carolina writes:

Tina S. from what I have been reading most agencies require you to have a bachelors degree or better to volunteer. I can see this in many non disaster relief projects but in a case like this no.

In a case like this you would think they need ppl who can work hard, who not afraid to sweat, can provide basic search and rescue skills and have a brain that is not lost in the loss of a loved one, but evidently if you do not have a Bachelors degree your not capable of this. How ridiculous!

Caroline F.
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Being unemployed and struggling myself I cannot afford to send money but want to help. We can set up a request for community donations maybe using our school as a drop off point. Firstly what is needed, and if we do this how or who do we contact to ask to collect and transport.

Please advise, Thanks

Andrea B.
|
Oregon, USA
January 14, 2010

Andrea B. in Oregon writes:

Thank you so much for giving American Citizens an easy way to help the people in Haiti. It is such a relief to be able to act immediately on the compassion I feel in my heart, and I feel very proud of this administration for being so responsive and smart about how to make this happen.

Lyn F.
|
Texas, USA
January 14, 2010

Lyn F. in Texas writes:

I can't use my cell phone because it's owned by my company, but I did go to the Red Cross site and found the link to their general Disaster Relief fund and made my donation there.

Anything, any amount you send, will help these poor victims, and victims of all disasters the Red Cross assists. It's a wonderful organization that truly helps those in need. I know because I live in Houston, where Ike hit in 2008, and I am from the Alabama Gulf Coast, which they have also assisted numerous times.

Do it. Do it now. The cost of a fast-food meal you'll miss will provide food, water and so much more!

Sandy B.
|
Wisconsin, USA
January 14, 2010

Sandy B. in Wisconsin writes:

I will be sending my donation via cell phone,
in the meantime have faith in our Creator and with all nations working together financialy ie: rebuilding homes with more solid materials, food and clothing. It is certainly too bad that a disaster of this magnitude has to wake up the world for us to realize our brothers and sisters are suffering daily just to survive.

Sheila
|
Georgia, USA
January 15, 2010

Sheila in Georgia writes:

Health and Education Relief Organization (HERO) organizes aid in response to the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake affecting Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

January 12, 2010

Health and Education Relief Organization (HERO), an Atlanta, GA based 501c(3) whose mission is to work throughout Haiti to build clinics, schools and water and waste management systems, announced today that it has organized a relief effort to send food and medical supplies to Haiti.

HERO is appealing for donation of funds from the public and corporate entities that will be used to purchase needed supplies. According to Ted Waldbart, President, “we are looking for the donation of the use of an airplane so we may transport medical supplies, canned food and personnel to assist with the effort”.

Donations can be made online at herononprofit.org

Laurence T.
|
Iowa, USA
January 14, 2010

Laurence T. in Iowa writes:

I am an operator of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, etc. I believe people with the ability to operate them will be needed for some time. I am offering to go to Haiti to help for a few months. I'm healthy, white, and only speak English. I'm a vegetarian. I have one problem that I'm not sure what to do about. I have dentures that don't stay in very well and I have been planning on replacing them as soon as I have the money but don't have it now. I will need to be paid some kind of a wage and a place to live. I can work many hours a day. I'm a vegetarian and can't eat dairy or gluten.

natalie
|
New York, USA
January 13, 2010

Natalie in New York writes:

THESE ARE SIGNS OF THE COMING END. WE NEED TO PRAY. AND TRUST JESUS...

Kay
|
Virginia, USA
January 15, 2010

Kay in Virginia writes:

WANT TO GO THERE AND HELP?

So do I, but according to this, it is rare for "another body" to be needed to clean, feed etc, but here is where you can apply to go

http://www.cidi.org/reg_offr.htm

Eugene P.
|
Tennessee, USA
January 13, 2010

Eugene P. in Tennessee writes:

I want to go to Haiti and help in any way that I can. If anyone can provide me with any information how I can do this please let me know.

sandra r.
|
Oregon, USA
January 13, 2010

Sandra R. in Oregon writes:

I own a small daycare in my home and I have extra clothes, books, and toys for kids. My kids and I would like to help. Does anyone know the address for the orphanage that is in Hati?
Thanks, Sandra

sheila M.
|
United States
January 13, 2010

Sheila M. writes:

My spouse and I visit the DR every year. We have gained a special realtionship with the Haitian people who work there. These people are truly suffering all the time. Now this earth quake there. The United States will be there. The Red Cross especially needs our help in donations. I wish there was away that we could open up our American homes at this time to give these families a temporary home until it changes.If there is anyone in our congress reading this, or someone who would take this seriously. Wouldn't this be a wonderful program to start at time of diaster. Of course these people would be on temporary visas. Of course this program would be monitored at all times. We must all do this. We are talking about men, women and children needing shelter. Wouldn't this also be a great way to show the world what we as Americans are truly all about. HELP ME WITH THIS PROGRAM!

Heather
|
North Carolina, USA
January 13, 2010

Heather in North Carolina writes:

I used quotations marks with HAITI when first texted. It didn't go through. I then dropped the quotation marks when texting HAITI and it was accepted. I received a text back asking to text yes to confirm donating $10. Hope that helps.

krista
|
Washington, USA
January 13, 2010

Krista in Washington writes:

For everyone curious about how the text donation works:
100% of the donation goes to Red Cross. Depending on your cell plan, you may have to pay text message fees. Here's the FAQ on the program when Red Cross set it up for Hurricane Katrina: http://american.redcross.org/site/PageNavigator/ntld_nolnav_text2help_faqs

R. L.
|
New York, USA
January 13, 2010

R. L. in New York writes:

I’m a nine year veteran of the U.S Military and I would love the opportunity to go to Haiti and help the Haitian people in this time of need. I can help with search, rescue, cleanup, first aid, logistics etc. Where ever help is needed down there, I can help, please let me know how do I go about providing my help. Thank you

JL R.
|
Wyoming, USA
January 13, 2010

J.L. in Wyoming writes:

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Haiti. This disaster tears at my heart. Absolutely complete destruction that is unbelievable. I hope and pray that many countries beside the United States help with search and rescue and other relief efforts. I will do what I can and I would hope others would do as well. May God bless and watch over those involved.

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