On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 1653 hours, a massive earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage in and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. While the logistics of reaching this island nation in its time of need are daunting, many individuals are making a difference with contributions to a variety of charitable organizations. Please be cautious however, when offering your financial support. As you continue to give to your favorite charities, do some research to avoid illegitimate organizations. Many news reports have included lists of properly accredited agencies. For example, Time Magazine's article “Haiti's Tragedy” (01/12/10) lists a variety of organizations that will be providing long term assistance to the relief effort. Local Better Business Bureaus (www.bbb.org) are also good resources to determine a group's authenticity. Yet another website: www.haiti.org, provides vital information from Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
When reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001, it is easy to recall receiving assistance from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Getting something as simple as a bottle of water during that tragic time made that horrific experience a bit more tolerable. Many of the same groups are now helping those in need today.
The following organizations all provide information online regarding what services they are currently providing for the people of Haiti: