Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping Haiti


It's hard to write about things like the upcoming season premiere of Lost, or my intense search for free copies of the new Spoon and Vampire Weekend albums when the terrible news out of Haiti keeps getting worse and worse.

The earthquake that hit the tragedy-prone country a few days ago may have killed as many as 50,000 people. News reports are grim and getting grimmer. So, we're doing a PSA kind of post here at GitW today, letting you know where you can donate to help the survivors.

Yahoo! has an extensive list of places providing aid. Since I'm always game to assuage my First World Guilt by throwing money at problems, I thought I'd tell you my opinions on some of the organizations I've dealt with in the past:


- The American Red Cross is an old standard. They have come under fire lately for using donations more for administrative needs than for helping people, and they spam you to death after you donate. But, they'll probably be leading the charge here.

- OXFAM America predominantly helps children, always a good cause. They send you like, one letter a year asking for more money after you donate. Not bad.

- Doctors Without Borders seems to be a strong group. They won a Nobel Prize, but apparently those aren't hard to win these days. Not too bad with spam and junk mail.

- UNICEF also helps kids, but it's run by the UN, so it's probably a clusterf%*k.

- Catholic Relief Services has a good reputation, except that they don't believe in birth control. I don't really see that coming into play here, unless they send priests to help. Ba-zing! (BTW, as a Catholic, I'm allowed to talk isht about the Church, but none of you Prods can. Sorry, just the way it works).

Hope this is helpful. We're pulling for you Haiti!

6 comments:

Red said...

With you on the Catholic thing. Nobody beats up my little brother but me.

In this case, some people who would know are saying that throwing money at the problem is actually the best way to help. Thanks for the PSA.

red said...

This is actually really helpful! I hate when I donate money and then the organization essentially spends that donation sending me junk mail.

Also, I love that you can "text" a donation now! Ahhhh, technology...

BeckEye said...

Best to stick with the Red Cross. Then again, Damon Albarn is associated with OxFam, which makes that organization all the more attractive.

And you can't pay for a Spoon album?? Come on!

words...words...words... said...

This is ten times more helpful than some vapid celebrity telling us to be aware, or something.

I also love that I just saw the word "prods" in print. It's like the Catholic secret handshake :)

blah said...

East Coast Elitists suggest other charities like

Partners in Health is run by Dr. Paul Farmer. They already have clinics in Haiti and they should already be on the ground assessing the situation. Here's what they do in Haiti: http://www.pih.org/where/Haiti/Haiti.html

The World Food Program is another UN agency geared specifically towards feeding people during crises.

They put together a list of reasons why this earthquake is so devastating for the people of Haiti. Here is the economic background for the people of Haiti:
http://www.wfp.org/stories/haiti-10-hunger-facts

You can donate here: https://www.wfp.org/donate/haiti

I encourage everyone to donate $10 to whatever charity they think would help. $10 is one movie ticket or two mochas at starbucks so it's not that big of a deal.

Liz said...

BeckEye, we may have our differences over John Travolta, but the fact that you referenced Damon Albarn makes me love you all over again.