Here's how you can help the efforts for HaitiShortly after the massive earthquake jolted Haiti on Tuesday, the calls started pouring into the American Red Cross office in Alexandria. The callers asked the same thing: “How can I help?”
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Shortly after the massive earthquake jolted Haiti on Tuesday, the calls started pouring into the American Red Cross office in Alexandria.
The callers asked the same thing: “How can I help?”
“We received quite a few calls from people wondering where and how they could donate,” said Ken Voigt, a coordinator with the West Central Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross in Alexandria. “People wanted to help right away.”
The best and easiest way to help, Voigt said, is to send money. That can be done in a number of ways:
•Donate online at www.redcross.org. Click on “Donate to Help People Affected by the Earthquake in Haiti” and then select “Haiti Relief and Development.” This will take you to a page to enter your billing information.
•Call the toll-free number, 1-800-REDCROSS.
•Send a text message – “HAITI” – to 90999. You will be asked to confirm your donation to the Red Cross International Response fund and a $10 donation will appear on your next mobile phone bill.
The money will go directly to the Red Cross for the relief effort in Haiti. As of Monday, the Red Cross reported that it had received more than $9 million in donations from more than 900,000 cell phone users.
•You may also send or drop off a check or cash at the Red Cross office, 700 Cedar Street, Suite 110, Alexandria, MN 56308. Make sure to indicate that the donation is for the Haiti relief effort.
Although the local Red Cross will not turn down any cash or check donations that it receives for Haiti aid, Voigt said that the electronic options for donating – the website or text messaging – are preferred because that’s the quickest way to funnel the help toward the victims.
HAITI EARTHQUAKE FACTS AND FIGURES
What happened: A series of earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 6.5 to 7.3 on the Richter scale struck southern Haiti on Tuesday, January 13, causing widespread death and destruction in the impoverished Caribbean nation, which is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Death tolls: Estimates vary, depending on the source. Authorities in Haiti say the toll could be as high as 200,000. At least 25,000 have already been buried, according to the Haitian government.
How many affected: The United Nations estimates that 3 million people are affected and 1.5 million were left homeless. About 40 “tent cities” have been set up in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital.
Destruction: An estimated 80 to 90 percent of buildings near the quake’s epicenter in Leogane, just outside of Port-au-Prince, were destroyed. An estimated 50 to 60 percent of the buildings in nearby Jacmel were leveled.
In need: About 200,000 families, comprising up to 1 million people, need immediate shelter and non-food assistance, according to the International Organization of Migration. The United Nations has appealed for $560 million from countries throughout the world to assist the victims.
Aid given: As of Monday, the U.S. had provided about $87 million in humanitarian aid. Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division have already delivered more than 70,000 bottles of water and 130,000 food rations.
The rescue: More than 25 international search-and-rescue teams, with about 1,500 personnel and rescue dogs, are on the ground, according to the U.S. State Department. More than 75 survivors have been pulled from the rubble as of Monday.