In these crucial days following the quake, basic needs like food, water and medicine are immediate priorities. (Click here for a full list.)
With all of the many efforts, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to support. Here are a few tips to help you help Haiti:
- It's always wise to give to reputable organizations. The Red Cross has proven themselves time and time again in countless crises, and of course they have been instrumental in Haiti's relief.
- Check with your employer to see if they will match your donations, which can easily multiply your efforts.
- A gift of any size is still a gift. Give whatever you can. (You can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.)
- Look for local projects where you can donate food, clothes, supplies and time.
- Spread the word! Some people feel removed from the situation and just need a little encouragement. If you get 9 of your friends to send a text, it's like you contributed $100. Doesn't that feel good?)
This is only the beginning of a long journey, but there are glimpses of hope with each person that is rescued and with each volunteer that supports the effort. Call me idealist, but I see this as our opportunity to build a new Haiti. I'd love to see the crowd of proud Haitians who dance along Eastern Parkway on Labor Day march through the streets of Haiti with helping hands. I'd love to see a Special Rescue Series of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition rebuild Haitian homes. And I'd love to see Haiti transformed into an island paradise that welcomes visitors and shares the beauty of its culture.
The reality is that this is a tragic situation, and it will take as many people as possible to make this better.