I was feeling a bit frantic about my life on Tuesday, until I heard about the earthquakes in Haiti and everything immediately snapped into perspective. I’m lucky. Very lucky to have a home and a healthy child and friends and food and water and even the means to write this note to you! Since then I’ve had reports from so many people about what they are doing to get help to Haitians, and wanted to share suggestions from local people, and from my Twitter and Facebook friends. There is so much we can do. Stop whatever you are doing and donate to one of these action organizations now. Then post this article to your Facebook page, Tweet it, and email it to friends. Make it easy for people to donate. If you have more suggestions, post them in the comments.
Shelter Box USA
Shelter Box USA is sending containers with emergency relief supply boxes equipped with tents, cooking
stoves, sleeping mats and blankets, water purification kits and tools. Donate to Shelter Box here. Recommended by 3 local Twitterers: @gooddirt @pourMtKisco @Cornell140 @WestchesterMag
Come talk with Shelter Box USA volunteers at Gossett’s Nursery, Saturday, January 23rd from 10-12. They will show the emergency supply boxes and supplies they send to disaster areas, and explain how they work, and talk about the people working on the ground in Haiti as well as other areas of the world.
Food For the Poor
Stephanie Crispinelli, a college student from Somers was on a college trip in Haiti working on infrastructure for Food for the Poor when the quake hit. Donate to Food for the Poor here. This organization has workers on the scene and infrastructure in place to quickly and efficiently get food to Haiti and distributed. (Sadly, stephanie has not been located as of this update. )
Diocese of Norwich Haitian Ministries
The head of the Katonah Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Cook wrote this appeal on her Facebook page, which was the first local connection I had heard about, “My niece is Jillian Thorp, the Acting Director of a Mission in Haiti that was ‘pulled out of the rubble’ in Haiti by her husband, Frank. It’s on all the news stories. She was trapped for 10 hours under a fallen roof. Jill and Frank are…maybe 24 years old? They are both safe, but thousands of others need our help.Please send prayers and money to this devastated country.” To donate through the Diocese of Norwich Haitian Ministries log on to www.haitianministries.org or call 860-638-1018 or 860-848-2237 ext. 206.
Grab your cell phone, text the word “HAITI” to 52000 and make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army Haiti Relief Effort! Recommended by Jim Long, on Twitter @newmediajim
Oxfam has units in the region and are mobilizing food, water and shelter to Haiti. Go to this video, click on ‘more info’ on the right and you’ll find a donations link. Or click here to donate directly.
Red Cross International
Westchester Assemblywoman Amy Paulin recommended donations to the Red Cross on Twitter. Donate here.
Save the Children
Our family friend Adam is the director of Save the Children, headquartered in Westport CT. Go to their site to watch video reports from Haiti, ongoing reports, and to donate. Save the Children is providing immediate lifesaving assistance, such as food, water, shelter and child-friendly spaces. Save the Children has worked in Haiti for twenty-five years with about 100 staff on the ground, primarily in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the Central Plateau region, providing vulnerable children with health, education, protection and food security programs. Check their emergency response blog: http://savethechildren.typepad.com/
American Jewish World Service
Bedford Hills resident Joy Perlow recommends American Jewish World Service who is mobilizing food, shelter and medical relief through the people and programs it already has in place in Haiti since 1999. Donate here.
Partners in Health
Partners in Health was recommended by Keith Napolitano, a firefighter in Mamaroneck, who has been posting links and encouraging people through his Facebook page to donate to PIH’s efforts. Janet Keyes sent this message in reply to this article: “Another important charity for Haiti is Partners in Health, the organization founded by Dr. Paul Farmer and made known to millions of readers through Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains.” Donate Here.
American Friends Service Committee
AFSC is dedicated to strengthening local capacity to rebuild, recover and heal after times of crisis and devastation. They have organizers in the region who will be working closely with Haitians to empower them in the rebuilding. Donate here. I personally recommend them as I trust this organization to act in the best interests of the citizens of Haiti in a manner that will help them to build their own infrastructure. I suggest donating to them in the future as their work will continue there long after the crisis is no longer news headlines.
Sarah Hodgson a Katonah author posted a link on her Facebook page about Search and Rescue dog teams headed to Haiti with link to more relief organizations.View here.
South Salem resident and well-known eco photographer Henry J Fair suggested on Twitter “Haiti leads hemisphere in deforestation, causing mudslides, flooding, erosion, which heighten quake devastation.”
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Special Announcement: On January 23rd take advantage of a very special opportunity to learn directly from David Mathison, renowned new media consultant, former VP of Reuter’s News Agency and author of Be The Media in a special seminar arranged byKatonah Green and Really Social Strategies at the Katonah Library. Environmental activists need to learn how to REALLY leverage social media to spread the message and create behavioral change. We have the power in our hands. Register now.