The Catastrophe in Haiti , Donations Needed

Update: Live updates from ReliefWeb.

The situation in Haiti is a mess. More here.

The U.S. is sending disaster teams.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. Unicef is asking for donations. So is the Red Cross. Here is the link to their disaster newsroom. If you can't access their website, follow along on their twitter feed. Via the State Department:

To help, text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. Or visit Red Cross and Mercy Corps to contribute. Also call 1-888-407-4747

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    Those photos show the "after" (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:49:20 PM EST
    of the major landmark there, the Presidential Palace -- but until you see that with the "before," as CNN showed, you don't really grasp how great the disaster must be . . . because the palace is one of the rare buildings that was built well.  Most of the people, of course, live in cinder-block dwellings and the like that came down hard on them.

    I have a good friend who grew up in Haiti, a voudou priest and author of many books about its history, and most ominous is that he -- a legendary emailer -- is not emailing tonight.  I think he is not there, but even his silence if safe here speaks volumes.

    Hope your friend.... (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:04:23 AM EST
    is safe CC...this world is one cruel motherf*cker.

    Those poor people man.  Hard enough times in Haiti, without natural disasters.


    Still no word (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:58:43 AM EST
    but I am going to bet that he is busy helping others.  He's a fascinating guy, descended from one of the early French-African families on his mother's side, including one of the foremost historians of Haiti -- but his father was a cattle farmer from Idaho who found himself with a voudou priest for a son.  

    Haiti is fascinating, and I have been so enriched by all I have learned from my friend's emails. . . .


    One of the happiest... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:19:04 AM EST
    head on straight people I ever met hailed from Haiti...this guy I met when I lived in FLA, a recent immigrant, we met working this brutal day-labor job taking down razor wire fencing...there I am cutting my hands to sh&t cursing the world and Felipe is working next to me smiling and singing...so I jokingly ask him "wtf are you so happy about bro?" and he goes "if you started out where I started out you'd be happy too."  That was it, we were buds and hung out quite a bit playing a lot of soccer...just one of those people who gives off the best of vibes.

    I hope he and his family are allright...haven't thought of him in years.


    Kudos for the links, Jeralyn, and please consider (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:20:10 AM EST
    ... also Medecins Sans Frontiers / Doctors without Borders for ensuring direct, immediate aid right to the source of the disaster.

    MSF/DWB operates one of the only free clinics in Port au Prince and are already set up at the heart of the disaster.

    24/7 donations line: 1-888-392-0392. Donate online, with many options (eg, in the name of a compassionate loved one), or, if online security/privacy is a concern, snail mail.

    It's been a long and troubled night for the local Haitian immigrant community, waiting for news.

    Really terrible (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:04:33 AM EST
    a friend of mine goes down there for work regularly and thank God he wasn't there yesterday - he said his hotel completely collapsed, from 5 stories to 1.

    I hope the relief efforts get off the ground fast.  Thoughts and prayers to everyone down there.

    One note (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:13:56 AM EST
    that text donation idea strikes me as genius.

    If you text your donation (none / 0) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:34:03 AM EST
    and put it on your cell phone bill, does that amount get charged taxes?

    Yes and now that the Red Cross has (none / 0) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:22:22 AM EST
    had such far reaching publicity for this text donation scheme, they've probably collected well more than the $200,000 that they said they released to the Haitian Red Cross for relief efforts.  One hopes that the American will commit additional funds in the coming days given the fact that they are probably picking up a lot of cash right now.

    There are other humanitarian organizations in Haiti, btw - others that will be particularly important after the initial response is over.  The place is completely destroyed.  There will be a huge need for funding for rebuilding and relocation of the people displaced by this devastating earthquake.


    They better release more (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:35:00 AM EST
    $200,000 is not a lot of money in this situation unfortunately.

    Lots of good (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by AlkalineDave on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:24:15 AM EST
    The video is horrible (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:52:46 PM EST
    It's like the entire country was bombed.