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Jan 142010

I’ve tried to post about Haiti several times now, but words fail me. Instead, I’ll focus on what I can talk about: How to help.

Food & clothing drives are nice, but they’re nowhere near as effective as cash when dealing with this level of devastation. There are quite a few worthy organizations out there. Mashable has a great list of organizations to get you started, including a few that accept donations via text message.

Though I normally donate to the Red Cross in the wake of catastrophes, with Haiti, I’m focusing my efforts on Catholic Relief Services. Here’s why: CRS has an established presence in Haiti.

  • There are about 340 staffers already in Haiti (120 in Port-au-Prince) providing aid to the population, 80% of which is Catholic. They know the area & its needs well.
  • CRS had prepositioned food, bedding, & other supplies in Haiti & neighboring countries to help with hurricane relief, so they can tap those resources for this crisis, too.
  • They’ve designated an initial $5 million in funds to help with relief efforts. Like all organizations, they’ll need a cash infusion to help with this crisis & others still to come.

Pick an organization. Donate. Think of a deal you’ve bought & enjoyed and donate your savings. Even if it’s just $5, that adds up fast if we all pitch in.

—Jennifer Maciejewski, Atlanta on the Cheap

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