Haiti, artists like Haitian native Wyclef Jean have already put out the call for help.Now, here's your chance
And while the full extent of the damage to the island and its people was unclear at press time, there's no doubt that it is catastrophic, and several charities are en route or already on the ground, providing assistance. According to http://www.charitynavigator.org/, an independent evaluator working to "advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace," here are some of the very best organizations, all of which are in need of donations — and head over to Think.MTV.com for more information.
It's very easy to contribute — here's how you can:
The http://www.redcross.org/ American Red Cross has a full-time staff on the ground in Haiti, providing ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness programs, and has already pledged an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by the earthquake. They seek additional donations to continue providing food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_52423.html UNICEF saw its offices in Port-au-Prince suffer heavy damages in the earthquake, but is ready to provide relief, deploying "essential aid" — safe water, sanitation supplies, therapeutic foods, temporary shelter materials and medical supplies — to assist in recovery efforts.
http://www.yele.org/ Yele Haiti is Wyclef's own charitable organization, and has established an online donation site to help victims of the earthquake. Through his Twitter account, he's also asking his fans to lend a hand, by making a $5 donation by texting YELE to 501 501.
http://www.directrelief.org/ Direct Relief International is a U.S.-based organization that provides medical assistance to impoverished nations, and has committed up to $1 million to aid emergency response efforts. Already, they have sent two 40-by-20-foot containers packed with more than $420,000 of medicine, supplies and food to St. Damien Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince.
http://www.worldvision.org/ World Vision has worked in Haiti for 30 years, and is seeking donations to provide victims with food, water, blankets and tents.
http://www.opusa.org/ Operation USA already operates in Haiti, and is sending medical aid, water-purification supplies and food supplements to the nation.
http://www.convoyofhope.org/ Convoy of Hope has established a command center just outside of Port-au-Prince, and is distributing food, water and supplies to the victims of the earthquake.
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ Samaritan's Purse is a Christian organization that, for over 35 years, has provided assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease and famine. In Haiti, they are helping survivors with food, water and temporary shelter.
Also, the State Department has set up a toll-free number to call for information about family members in Haiti: (888) 407-4747.