A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) member in Haiti is appealing to the international community to send relief quickly to that country after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rattled it on Jan. 14, 2010. The quake reportedly left tens of thousands dead and most of Port au Prince, that nation’s capital, in ruins.
“We need all kinds of help, but the most important is to help to evacuate people who are under the buildings; [there] are a lot,” SHRM member Daniel Denis responded via e-mail from Haiti. “We need doctors, water, food.”
What Can You Do?
International relief agencies from around the globe converged on Haiti the day after the quake, bringing desperately needed food, aid workers and medical supplies to the Caribbean nation, which shares a border with the Dominican Republic and is regarded as one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere.
Denis, a training professional who has worked for the Haitian government, said relief effort teams were mobilizing in the airport in Port au Prince, “coordinating all kinds of help.”
“Americans can help the most by donating cash to an established relief agency,” Suzanne H. Brooks, director of the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI), stated in a news release. “Haitians have suffered greatly in recent years and desperately need Americans to respond appropriately. Helping the efforts of professional humanitarian relief agencies is the absolute best way to aid the victims in Haiti.”
Those interested in making contributions to help victims in Haiti can get more information by visiting CIDI's web site at cidi.org.
Additionally, interested donors can visit interaction.org to obtain a list of credible responding agencies for international emergencies, and give.org to get valuable information on making informed decisions when supporting charities. In addition, donors can visit globalgiving.org.
Providing immediate cash assistance is easy. Whitehouse.gov reports people can make donations online to the American Red Cross’ International Response Fund or via cell phone by simply texting “Haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 gift. The donation will appear on the cell phone bill. Speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN soon after the earthquake hit, Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean encouraged people to make $5 donations via his Yele Haiti foundation by texting “Yele” to 501501. Donations can be made via the web site, too.
Americans seeking information about their families and or employees are encouraged to call the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Overseas Citizens Services serving American citizens abroad at 1-888-407-4747. The State Department’s web site, travel.state.gov., is where information covering world events is updated regularly and available 24 hours daily.
Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM.