Thursday, January 21, 2010

A note on donations for Haiti

I see food/supply drives in my own area, and wonder if they're really helpful. Check out this article about right and wrong ways to help the people of Haiti. It's short and definitely an eye-opener. Particularly this paragraph:
Jeff Nene, a spokesman for Convoy of Hope, a Springfield, Mo., agency that feeds 11,000 children a day in Haiti, urges cash donations that allow his group to buy in bulk from large suppliers and retailers.

"When people give $1, it translates into $7 in the field," he said. "If they spend $5 for bottled water, that's nice and it makes them feel good, but probably it costs us more than $5 to send it [to Haiti]. If they give us $5, we can get $35 worth of water."

That's a sentiment echoed by virutally every aid agency.
The article recommends checking out Charity Navigator for non-scammy charities and aid organizations. I'd also add that when in doubt, send money to organizations you know and trust, like the Red Cross, World Vision, Doctors Without Borders and similar agencies. The people of Haiti need our help, but not just the kind of "help" that makes us feel like do-gooders.

OK, end of preachy PSA. I'll return to my regularly-scheduled programming (and hopefully on a more regular schedule) soon.

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