In the wake of tragedy, the first thing most people ask is how they can help. The devastating and deadly, 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday and has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and many more suffering, fighting for their lives and wondering how they will be able to piece their lives and their communities back together again has encouraged people to band together in order to provide relief efforts to the people of Haiti. There are still people, days after the news broke of this tragedy, who are asking what they can do to help. The easiest thing you can do to help is to donate money to the myriad of relief funds currently collecting donations, but picking a legitimate and worthwhile charity can be mind boggling, especially when you see the list of the different organizations. So after some research, here is a tidier list of the charities you can assist that are doing some great work in and for Haiti.
- Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders have been working in Haiti for 19 years, most recently operating three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince. They have been successful in mobilizing a large emergency response to the disaster in Haiti and their immediate response in the first hours following the deadly earthquake was only possible because of the private unrestricted donations from around the world that have been dedicated to making the relief efforts of Doctors Without Borders possible. Doctors Without Borders will use your donations to ensure that their medical teams can react to the Haiti emergency and humanitarian crises all over the world, particularly in neglected crises that remain outside the media spotlight. Your donation to Doctors Without Borders is ensured to be earmarked from their Emergency Relief Fund.
Donate to Doctors Without Borders
UNICEF believes that children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster and they are committed to being there to provide aid to those children. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is absorbing all associated administrative costs so that 100% of every dollar you donate to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will support their relief efforts for children in Haiti.
Donate to UNICEF
- Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps always distinguishes themselves as one of the first responders when an earthquake hits. They were on the ground in Peru in 2007, in China in 2008, in Indonesia in 2009 and they landed in Haiti as one of the first on the ground ready to help. As stated on their donation page, the next $250,000 in donations made to Mercy Corps for their Haiti Earthquake Fund will be matched by a generous donor.
Donate to Mercy Corps
- American Red Cross
From your mobile phone, regardless of your carrier or plan, text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross (U.S. State Department) or text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti, the foundation started by Wyclef Jean. These donations will be added directly to your cell phone bill and will go immediately to the first responders on the ground in Haiti and will be sorely needed.
Oxfam has over three decades of experience in Haiti and they have rushed in teams from around the region to respond to their tragic earthquake where their assistance in most needed. Oxfam is providing clean water, shelter and sanitation to the people of Haiti. Your donations to Oxfam will go immediately to the most critical needs in Haiti and is ensured that every penny will be used wisely.
Donate to Oxfam
- Save the Children
Save the Children has worked in Haiti for more than 25 years with staff on the ground in the region providing vulnerable children with health, education, protection and food security programs. They are currently providing life-saving emergency relief in the form of food, water, shelter and child-friendly spaces to children and families in Haiti.
Donate to Save the Children
MADRE has activated an emergency response through their partner organization, Zanmi Lasante Clinic, whose doctors, nurses and community health workers have been working to bring medical assistance and supplies to the areas of Haiti that have been hit the hardest by the earthquake. They are in urgent need of bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks.
Donate to MADRE / Call for more information on donating medical supplies
For even more charities and ways to donate supplies and volunteer, check out Like a Whisper for an even more comprehensive list and if you know of any additional charities or relief funds, please leave them in the comments to spread the word.