After viewing the disturbing images from the nearby island nation, many Americans want to do something, anything. One inclination is to run to the store and buy food, bottled water, medicinal supplies and other goods. But those things are not needed at this point, according to disaster relief specialists.
What is needed most right now is money, in addition to prayers for the victims and the many volunteers, search-and-rescue and medical teams pouring in to Haiti from all around the world to provide assistance.
We encourage those wanting to help to make a donation to the International Response Fund at www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The American Red Cross is sending money, supplies and staff to Haiti to support relief efforts, contributing $1 million from the International Response Fund.
The public also can help by texting “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross, through an effort backed by the U.S. State Department.
Be sure and give only to respected and legitimate disaster relief efforts, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Doctors Without Borders. Perhaps local churches have established special means to contribute though such organizations as Catholic Relief Services and mission teams and relief efforts provided through the Baptists, Methodists and other Christian denominations.
Do NOT respond to unsolicited online scammers who will be preying on well-meaning, charitable Americans. Only give to people and agencies you trust will provide the help to the people in desperate need in Haiti.