On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, about 15 miles miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the country's capital and most populous region. The earthquake was the worst in the region in more than 200 years, and at least 50 thousand people are believed to be dead. Reports say that more than 30 significant aftershocks of a 4.5 magnitude or higher rocked the country through the night and into the early morning.
Relief organizations, governments worldwide and corporations acted quickly, pledging support and donations, but efforts were slow-going, due to the intense devastation, which wiped out the nation's electricity and phone lines, and limited airport operations. President Obama promised that Haiti would have the "unwavering support" of the United States, and the White House Web site posted a transcript and video of the president's remarks, as well as information on how to help.
For extensive news coverage of the disaster, as well as information on locating missing persons involved, see the sites below.
With search-and-rescue operations still underway, relief efforts are turning toward the millions of survivors in desperate need of food, clean water, shelter and medical care. The aid and goodwill pouring in from across the globe has indeed been heartening, but more assistance is still needed and will be for some time to come. Aid experts say that because of logistical reasons, donations of money - both for immediate relief and for rebuilding efforts - are more urgently needed than gifts of clothes, blankets and food.
Before donating to any organization, check out the Network for Good's 10 tips in Giving Wisely, which above all recommend donors give to legitimate charities they know well. Charity Navigator ranks more than 3,400 charities according to their financial health. To research a specific charity before donating, check out the Better Business Bureau. Enter your zip code, click on the "For Charities and Donors" tab, then select "Check out a Business or Charity."
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of established charities actively involved in relief efforts for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Click on the links below to be taken directly to their earthquake donation pages.
Mobile donations are also a quick and easy way to give, and they are growing in popularity. The American Red Cross said that less than a week after the earthquake in Haiti hit, it had received pledges of $103 million, about $22 million of which came through its text-messaging program. Below are a few organizations accepting such donations, as reported by the Mobile Giving Foundation, which has a complete list (U.S.) on its Web site. The foundation notes that 100 percent of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on your carrier bill.
Text the word "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross in the U.S.
Text the word "Live" to 25383 to donate $10 on behalf of Americares
Text the word "Haiti" to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army
Text the word "Hope10" or "UNICEF" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of UNICEF
Text the word "Habitat" to 25383 to donate $10 on behalf of Habitat for Humanity
Text the word "Haiti" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of the Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund
Text the word "Haiti" to 25383 to donate $5 on behalf of the International Rescue Committee
Text the word "Save" or "Safe" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of Save the Children Federation
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