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Best charities to donate to for Haiti Earthquake relief

January 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments · American Red Cross, AmeriCares, CARE International, Developing Areas, Doctors Without Borders

You’re probably seeing the devastation of the January 12th earthquake in Haiti on your TV screens, and you may be inspired to donate to help those who are suffering. 

But while it’s important to give, it’s also important to be very selective in your giving. Unfortunately, for as many wonderful, generous, and giving people there are out there, there are also those who would not hesitate to take advantage of the disaster for their own greedy gains. Just like giving a dollar to a homeless person on the street, it’s gotten to the point where you almost become suspicious of giving to anyone because you don’t know whether your money is going to be used for good or for bad. No doubt you’ll see emails and Facebook entries and Tweets in the coming weeks. Some will be legitimate, others will not be.

There’s a great site called Charity Navigator which is one of the best sites on the Web for reporting on charities. They are an unbiased source of information on charities, and they rate charities by how efficiently they are run. It’s the source I always go to first before I decide whether or not to give.

 They have a special page dedicated to Donations for Haiti Earthquake Relief. It includes a list of very important things to keep in mind when planning your Haiti donation, and also have a list of the top-rated, best run charities that have a history of relief work in Haiti (even before the earthquake). There are obviously dozens of other great charities not listed on this page; if you wish to give to one of those charities, just be sure to do your homework first.

Charity Navigator has even gone so far as to identify specific work that some of the charities are doing. This includes the following (click on the link to go directly to the charity’s site).

American Red Cross – Founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, the Red Cross is a premier emergency response organization. Sending tarps, cooking sets, and hygienic supplies for thousands of families and helping with those who need blood. Help is being provided by local citizens who are volunteers, who will be supported by Red Cross Disaster Management personnel.

Americares – A nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs, founded in 1982. Sending millions of dollars in medical equipment and supplies including antibiotics, pain relievers, bandages, to survivors with traumatic injuries.

CARE – One of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations, committed to helping families in poor communities, originally founded in 1945 to provide relief to survivors of World War II. Have over 100 emergency team members and staff on the ground coordinating with U.N. agencies to distribute food.

Convoy of Hope – Established in 1994, Convoy of Hope was formed to network churches within communities to help people. Charity specializing in feeding the hungry and providing pure drinking water to people in need. Have set up a command center outside Port-au-Prince to distribute food, water and supplies.

Direct Relief International – Since 1948, has been providing medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world. They’ve set up an emergency airlift providing over $2 million in medical supplies and medicine.

Doctors Without Borders – Created in 1971 to provide medical assistance to people of nations in crisis, based on principles of medical ethics and impartiality. They’re treating people on the ground and are setting up an inflatable hospital.

Food for the Poor – Established in 1982, this is the largest international relief organization in the United States, whose goals are to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children they serve. They’re an interdenominational ministry, following the principles of Matthew 25:31-46. They’re distributing hundreds of containers of urgently needed medical supplies, rice and canned food.

Partners in Health – Founded in 1987, this is a charity that was first established in Haiti to help provide health care to its poorest people. They’re organizing medical personnel volunteers and gathering supplies.

Save the Children – Founded in 1932, this is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need. Have been in Haiti for over 25 years and will be providing food, water, shelter and child-friendly space. Save the Children is also providing refuge for other aid workers, as their offices in Haiti did not suffer the structural damage that others did.

Water Missions International – Founded in 1998 after Hurrican Mitch devastated Honduras, this is a Christian nonprofit organization which provides clean, safe water to people in developing countries and disaster areas through a variety of technologies. They have full-time staff in Haiti and are assisting in getting clean water back to its people.

Most of these sites have active blogs and Twitter feeds where you can follow the progress of their work.

Whichever of these charities you decide to give to, do give generously and let’s keep on giving even the celebrities stop talking about it, the pictures stop appearing on TV, and everyone has gone onto the next thing.


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