UPDATE: Hurricane Paloma has devastated Cuba. See the links below for relief agencies working with Cuba.
The recent hurricanes have devastated Louisiana, Texas, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas. The impoverished nation of Haiti, alone, has seen 3 major storms (Hanna, Gustav and Ike) in the past 3 weeks. People are suffering throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf states of the U.S. The good news is that several agencies are providing relief — food, water, shelter, beds and clothing — along with medical care, emotional support and efforts toward re-building. The good news is also that you can help.
See the links, below, to make a tax-deductible donation to one of these relief efforts.
Did your grandma ever tell you: “Many hands make light work”? Mine did, and she was right. Whether you’re talking about day-to-day cooking, cleaning and gardening, or helping the neighbor down the road whose house was hit by a tornado, it was and still is true. Many hands make light work. Remember this, as you decide whether you can afford to give to these relief efforts. Any donation amount — small, medium or large — is a blessing to the storm victims and to those folks on the ground who are providing the humanitarian care we’d all be doing ourselves, as neighbors, if only we could be there. Let your heart work through their hands. Donate.
TEXAS AND LOUISIANA
RED CROSS: DONATE HERE to support the the Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to aid recent U.S. hurricane victims in Texas and Louisiana. Alternately, you can donate here at the Red Cross’ general donation page, where you may then direct your donation to a specific geography (U.S. vs. International aid) or to “Where the Need is Greatest.” The minimum donation is $10. Should you wish to donate via phone or snail mail, the information is provided on the donation pages.
Galveston in ruins after Hurricane Ike __________________________________________________________________________
HAITI and THE BAHAMAS
RED CROSS: DONATE HERE to support the Red Cross International Response Fund to aid recent hurricane victims in Haiti and the Bahamas. From this same page, you can alternately choose specific efforts, including “Where the Need is Greatest.” which is always appreciated by the Red Cross as they juggle their emergency efforts between various needs.
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: DONATE HERE to support the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) disaster relief efforts to provide emergency food, shelter, water and other basic needs, along with medical care and long-term needs. There is a space on this page where you may optionally type in a specific area where you would like your donation to be directed (e.g. Haiti, the Bahamas), as well as the opportunity to have your donation given in someone’s honor or memory. There is also info on this page for donating via phone or mail. With a 60-year history in providing humanitarian aid, Catholic Relief Services has a strong background in emergency preparedness and response. With 94% of their donations going directly to their programs, CRS has earned an A+ grade with the American Institute of Philantrophy.
FOOD FOR THE POOR: DONATE HERE to support this worthy organization’s disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Payments can be made either online or through the mail. Their report card is impressive, with 96.8% of donations going directly to programs. Read here for charitable watch-group endorsements
p.s. While you’re at their site, check out the other humanitarian works by this fine faith-based organization. Their work is truly amazing and goes far beyond simple “Food for the Poor.” Their “Home Again 2008” project is but one example (see before and after photos, right).
Awe inspiring: For the same price some folks in the U.S. might pay for a summer vacation ($2,600) you could buy a house for a family in Haiti. Check it out here, blueprints and all. Give to this effort, too, if you can.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to buy a house for a family?
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: DONATE HERE to support the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) disaster relief efforts to provide emergency food, shelter, water and other basic needs, along with medical care and long-term needs. There is a space on this page where you may optionally type in a specific area where you would like your donation to be directed (e.g. Cuba, Haiti, the Bahamas), as well as the opportunity to have your donation given in someone’s honor or memory. There is also info on this page for donating via phone or mail. With a 60-year history in providing humanitarian aid, Catholic Relief Services has a strong background in emergency preparedness and response. With 94% of their donations going directly to their programs, CRS has earned an A+ grade with the American Institute of Philantrophy.
GREATER MIAMI JEWISH FEDERATION: DONATE HERE to support humanitarian relief efforts in Cuba for the devastation from Hurricane Ike. On the donation page, there are options to pay online (either in full or in installments) or to pay via phone or mail. This organization is working in both Haiti and Cuba. If you like, you can specifically direct your donation to Cuba, by typing CUBA in the comments section. One-hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts in Haiti & Cuba.
OPERATION USA: DONATE HERE to support medical humanitarian efforts in Cuba. As this organization works in many countries, you will want to specify Cuba on the donation page by typing something along the lines of CUBA HURRICANE RELIEF in the comments section at the bottom. You can donate online or pay via phone or mail, per the info on the donation page. With 98% of their donations going directly into their program, this organization has earned a 4-star, “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator. (see their home page for more info).
THE DISARM EDUCATION FUND: DONATE HERE to support humanitarian efforts to provide desperately needed medical relief to Cubans — doctors, surgeons, medical supplies, etc. There is a drop-down menu on the donation page to designate your donation to Hurricane relief. You can also make your donation in the honor or memory of a loved one or a cause. See Ed Asner’s letter on this site, urging aid for hurricane victims. Their charity report card is not as good as it could be, with 77% of donations going directly into their program work, according to Charity Navigator. The good news is that you can, alternately …
SIGN A PETITION TO END THE U.S. EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA: CLICK HERE to sign the the Disarm Education Fund’s petition to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba. This petition, along with addt’l info on the embargo, is located on the Disarm Education Fund website. Signing this petition is a no-cost way to make the world a better place.
See these links to read news and updates on the storm devastation, along with the relief needs & efforts being made in these areas:
Haiti Innovation: Choice, Partnership, Community
The Jamaica Observer: Digicel Donates US$1 Million Toward Hurricane Relief in Haiti
Catholic Relief Services: Storms Turn Haiti’s Roads into Rivers
Food For the Poor: Hanna Catastrophic for Haiti
Greater Miami Jewish Federation: Federation Collecting Funds for Hurricane Victims in Haiti, Cuba
Red Cross: Red Cross Provides Shelter as Ike Hits Land in Texas (read specifics on their good works in the 4-state area affected by Hurricane Ike)
Red Cross: Red Cross Responds to Caribbean Hurricanes
LA Times: Hurricanes and Haiti
The Sun: Hurricane Ike Chaos in Cuba
NPR: Cuba, Pounded by Ike, Rejects U.S. Aid
The Center for Democracy in the Americas: Cuba Needs a Gengle Storm of Generosity — INCLUDES CONTACT INFO FOR OTHER CHARITIES, RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE WORKING WITH CUBA
Miami Herald: Aid’s path to Haiti, Cuba is Fraught with Obstacles
Miami Herald: How to Help Hurricane Victims — Contact info for assisting with relief efforts in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean.
Xinhua: Cuba Rejects Again U.S. Strings-Attached Hurricane Aid