10 Ways to Help the Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts
Relief efforts are building in response to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday. Centered 10 miles from the capital Port Au Prince, it was the worst earthquake to hit the region in more than 200 years and the devastation is enormous—thousands of structures have been destroyed, including hospitals and countless homes—people are trapped in the rubble, and we don't even know the full extent of the damage.
Several great lists of how to help are already up and running, including on the Huffington Post, some of whose ideas we borrowed—here are a few more.
- Send a text to "Haiti" to "90999," and a $10 donation will automatically be given to the Red Cross to help with Haiti relief efforts. (The charge will show up on your cell phone bill.)
- Donate to Partners in Health: an awesome organization founded in Haiti by Paul Farmer that has already done so much great work in that country. Louise Ivers, the PIH clinical director in Haiti, sent a plea for help, saying, "Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us."
- Wyclef Jean is requesting help for the Yele Haiti Foundation, which he started to support development in his home country. Texting "Yele" to 501501 will automatically donate $5 (and charge your cell phone bill), or you can donate through Yele's website.
- Ushahidi, which crowdsources crisis information, has created a map of Haiti to which anyone can submit updates on road conditions, building collapses, etc., by phone, email, or online. Ushahidi, which means "testimony" in Swahili, is an open source project that was started in Africa, but is customizing a response for Haiti. Check out the map that's already up and running, follow them on Twitter, and help them out if you can. (Check their site for the local SMS number, which was not available as of this morning—or use their international number +44 7624802524.) Cell towers and most of the local news stations in Haiti are down, so efforts like these are filling a particularly challenging gap in information.
- The Haiti Earthquake Relief Center is run by the Haitian Alliance, which has been working to make Haiti "green and literate" (including tree-planting efforts), and is coordinating collections and shipments of food, medicine, and temporary shelter (tents, blankets, etc.), to the millions of Haitians affected by the quake.
- Support Mercy Corps, which is sending a team of emergency responders. Donate online, call 1-888-256-1900 or send checks to Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Fund; Dept NR; PO Box 2669; Portland, OR 97208.
- Ben Stiller's Stillerstrong, "in recognition of the severity of the earthquake in Haiti," is temporarily sending all donations to emergency relief efforts for earthquake victims.
- Direct Relief is coordinating with in-country partners, including Partners in Health, St. Damien Children's Hospital, and the Visitation Hospital, which are particularly active in emergency response. Donate to Direct Relief online.
- One Day's Wages, which has already committed $5,000 to the relief efforts, is asking for people to consider donating a day's wages (or any other amount, really) to support their partnership with World Concern, which has an office in Port Au Prince. The office is still standing, but they need help to boost their emergency and disaster relief efforts and to support communities affected by the earthquake.
- Follow BBC's Have Your Say's Twitter list dedicated to Haiti. And of course, the whole Twitterverse is abuzz with talk about Haiti—if you see any ideas we've missed, please leave a comment here or send us a tip.