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

Diane
|
Ohio, USA
January 14, 2010

Diane in Ohio writes:

I texted HAITI to 90999, twice since I didn't receive a text back after a few minutes the first time and I'm still waiting. Can anyone help? I have an iPhone with AT&T.

Sheila R.
|
Canada
January 14, 2010

Sheila R. in Canada writes:

I just finished watching this disaster that's taken place and it just blows me away, I feel so sad for these people. I just wish I was there to help but am unable so to show my love support i will donate what i can to help the people of Haiti.. Thank you to all for your continuous support.My thoughts and prayers are with all the people of and in Haiti..

Christian L.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

Christian L. in Florida writes:

Haiti really needs help right now... If you text the word Yele to 501501, you can donate 5 dollars to a fund being collected by Wyclef... It's just 5 bucks, but it can make a difference... It's charged directly to your cell phone account... Let's step up, I'm sure we would really appreciate any help if we were in their situation... Thank you

Normita
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Normita in California writes:

The best response is to donate money for food, supplies and basic necessities. Then, in my opinion, we should wait until the search and rescue operations are safely on the ground. Going there right now could present more challenge. I think the State Dept. will play the key role in letting us know when it's safe to participate in the relief effort.

Let us offer our thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti.

John R.
|
Texas, USA
January 14, 2010

John R. in Texas writes:

I too, like so many of other people writing in to you am quite willing and able to help now, but have become very discouraged by the responses I have recieved so far in my attempts to volunteer. I am a retired military veteran with several remote deployments as experience and a valid US passport, experienced as a military first responder, former Red Cross Instructor, was registered EMT at both state and national levels and have a myriad of mechanical, and logistical experience as a contractor both stateside and in Kuwait. The local Red Cross can only tell me that I have to sign up for classes to become eligible to help but cannot tell me where or when, and did not know if the classes would even be available. Again, ready - and more than willing to help.

Eric
|
Indiana, USA
January 14, 2010

Eric in Indiana writes:

I would like to offer my help as well to the Haitian people. We need to get something organized.

Josie
|
Oregon, USA
January 14, 2010

Josie in Oregon writes:

Tell me where and how to volunteer in Haiti as a nurse!!

Megan
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

Megan in Florida writes:

I am going to donate money and goods to Haiti.every little bit REALLY makes a diffrence even if you only donate a can. Everyone is struggling with money but we do not need it as bad as they do.

LETS HELP!

Beverley G.
|
Haiti
January 14, 2010

Beverley G. in Haiti writes:

Very sorry for your lost and really hope life gets much better for you.

Green E.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 14, 2010

Dr. Green Earth in Pennsylvania writes:

Hi, Thank you for showing us the way to help a little for the suffering in Haiti. My wife, I, and my grandson will never forget this opportunity, having texted 90999 three times to Haiti. I remember the "Red Cross" had never hesitated to take me in when I volunteered my services. God bless all of you and the Haitians.
Again, thanks

Hope
|
Texas, USA
January 14, 2010

Hope in Texas writes:

How long does it take to send you the confirmation? I texted HAITI to 90999 and have got nothing yet in response.
But i DID post this link to my twitter and FB and Myspace, with the headline, "A CALL TO IMMEDIATE, SELFLESS ACTION- TO HELP, JUST TEXT..." Looking forward to seeing how many people i influence to do the same :)

Basimah
|
Bangladesh
January 14, 2010

Basimah in Bangladesh writes:

Hi,

I am from Bangladesh. I want to help Haitian's through SMS. How can I do that?

Green E.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 14, 2010

Dr. Green Earth in Pennsylvania writes:

AT&T confirmed all three times we sent the text message of Haiti to 90999 (my grandson did them on his phone when I was watching for the confirmations.)So, please don't hesitate to send the text message. The 'Red Cross' is a genuine help organization. They accepted my volunteered physician's service (I had retired) with much enthusiasm. God bless !
Thanks

Yeshanew M.
|
Maryland, USA
January 14, 2010

Yeshanew M. in Maryland writes:

What a terrible catastrophe!!May God be with the helpless lifes under vanished buildings..kids,elderly...May the hands of God be with the people of Haiti.

liane
|
Nevada, USA
January 14, 2010

Liane in Nevada writes:

my thoughts and prayers to all affected by this tragedy. I encourage all to donate, if you cannot,a prayer for these poor people. It does give me hope that so many people want to help. its amazing what unity can do !

siamak
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Siamak in California writes:

The only thing i could do was/is that paying $10 and keep people informed on my facebook to pay that $10 to red-cross.
contribution of all people make a tremendous difference. all my prayers and wishes for people of Haiti.
to me it's like Bam earthquake in Iran, 4-5 years ago. Hope the number of people died there be much smaller. Hope.
God bless the people of Haiti, the US and the world.

David H.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

David H. in Florida writes:

trying to volunteer my services as a equipment operator , pilot, security or just labor for the Haitian earth quake.

Inessia
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Lnessia in California writes:

These are the times when we need to pull together as one, and help those in need. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, can amount to saving a life.

Ronda
|
Minnesota, USA
January 14, 2010

Ronda in Minnesota writes:

Both texting YELE to 501501 and
Haiti to 90999 works; just tried both. Please everyone, use your cell phones it is easy and will help those in Haiti. Every little bit helps and yes, even YOU, one person, CAN make a difference!
I am a dispatcher from MN and would love to be able to go help in anyway if I can...My thoughts and heart go with prayers for the people of Haiti!

Bantur
|
Turkey
January 14, 2010

Bantur in Turkey writes:

I am from Turkey and we had the same disaster in 1999.The strength of the earthquake was Richter 7.4 and hundred thousands of our people died.First of all the victims of earthquake urgently need some human and machine power for rescuing the people under the wracks of the buildings.This part is very important because unfortunately time for helping is so so short.On this stage people who are from close countries are very necessary.After this vital stage, for the victims who are rescued or not under the wracks need some water,food,medical and hygienic supplies and if the weather is cold some clothes and blankets.On this stage donations are very very important.It does not matter where are you from even if it is $5 or $10 please help those people.Maybe this small amount is your snack money but for the victims it is a loaf of bread or a bottle of fresh water or a painkiller.I saw that there are a lot of organisations who are trying to help them.Maybe $10 seems not enough for you but if a hundred people do so $1000 is quite enough for these poor people.

Bill W.
|
Ohio, USA
January 14, 2010

Bill and Lisa W. in Ohio write:

Our thoughts and prayers go to all the people who have been affected by this terrible tragedy. Thank you to all the people from around the world who are responding to this disaster so quickly. May God protect those who have survived and comfort them in their time of loss.

Christpher D.
|
Florida, USA
January 14, 2010

Christopher D. in Florida writes:

I want to go an help Haiti, Haiti is my country but i move to the US because of my education i speak creole, french, english,an spanish so if you give me the oportunity i want to go with a team an help with anything they need please call me...

ayn c.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 14, 2010

Ayn C. in Washington, DC writes:

Why not link this page off the Hait page on the www.state.gov website? It will make it easier to find.

Orion101
|
California, USA
January 14, 2010

Orion101 in California writes:

Please be aware that the CEO of the American Red Cross is paid over $500,000 dollars a year - apparently because that is what it takes to get a sufficiently talented & experienced person.

Umm, the President only earns $400K (even Pres. Clinton earned $200K). I think a lot of highly qualified people (ex-CEOs) would be happy to lead the Red Cross for a much more reasonable amount.

I would request Secretary Clinton to not encourage outrageous executive pay (esp. in the NP sector) ... and post a list of deserving and capable organizations rather than a short list of 2. And a link to GuideStar or Charity Navigator that reviews the performance of these organizations.

Condolences & best wishes to everyone affected.

doreen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 14, 2010

Doreen in Massachusetts writes:

i am a cna licened in ma. with first aid and cpr trained i would like to donate my time to fly to haiti to help with medical relief search and rescue or anthing that i can do. i have worked in several area hospitals and have exstensive knowledge in the medical field. i would like to go please contact me if this is possible

Margaret
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 14, 2010

Margaret in Washington, DC writes:

I just sent a donation through my cell phone with Verizon, and it worked. God Bless the people of Haiti. My prayers are with you.

Jim
|
Illinois, USA
January 14, 2010

Jim in Illinois writes:

Why can't a nuclear aircraft carrier be quickly refitted with heavy lifting equipment and medical aid to deliver assistance to Haiti? Placed in port it could deliver emergency electricity for months. It could deliver clean desalinated water. The hanger deck could be converted to act as a temporary hospital. The flight deck could be filled and deliver bulldozers and cranes for rescue.
It certainly has the capacity to carry the fuel necessary for the equipment.

Mary N.
|
South Carolina, USA
January 14, 2010

Mary N. in South Carolina writes:

It seems to me that an effort to systematically, and as quickly as possible, get as many of the Haitians (particularly the children and the older) as we can out of the area of devastation, via ships, planes, whatever, and get them to a place or places, around their part of the world (where there are hospitals, water and shelters/tents can be put up) then help them. I am also sure many people will welcome families into their homes and communities to help them through this crisis To go into the demolished, and soon to be infested areas, with thousands more 'helpers' trying to bring all the resources needed for the volunteers and the victims, in such a huge disaster seems tougher. Racing the clock against the disease and malaria, etc, that is sure to come

james c.
|
Haiti
January 14, 2010

James C. writes:

hi i am a truck driver i will go to haiti to help if you need help i this erea
i can also help search for the people just tell me where to go to get there my prayers are with the people there

Barbara R.
January 14, 2010

Barbara R. writes:

I am deeply sadden by the castastrophe in Haiti. A country so deep in poverty and misfortune has been devistated, yet again. I pray for the people of Haiti. It is heart-wrenching to watch. I am sending a donation. I hope that ALL Americans will do the same.

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