Haiti Still Needs Help

How Your Family Can Make a Difference

The earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people on the small, impoverished island of Haiti, and left 1.2 million people displaced or homeless, spurred a dramatic amount of goodwill nationwide. Many people dipped into their wallets for individual donations, and many groups picked up the cause to raise larger amounts of money in innovative ways.

Now, just over a month after the Jan. 12, 2010, tragedy, media reports indicate that donations are slowing, and Haiti continues to desperately need help. There are still plenty of ways that your family can make a difference to the people of Haiti. Consider these continuing fundraising campaigns:

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross continues to accept donations for Haitian relief. If you want to raise a substantial donation for this relief organization, consider a local benefit concert featuring talented musicians from your community; or work with local businesses to exchange services (such as haircuts or sales of pizza) for donations. One New York school raised nearly $2,000 to donate to Haiti by having children place their extra change in a bucket after going through the cafeteria lunch line.

The Red Cross is also still accepting individual donations through a special cell phone texting service. Text “HAITI” to “90999″ and a $10 donation will be charged to your phone bill.

Art Hearts

Art Hearts is a project offering children a concrete way to do something for the people of Haiti, by sending messages of love and support.

aRT hEARTSIt’s the brainchild of Kate and Emma, the 7-year-old twins of Lynn Toomey, founder of the Lunenburg, Massachusetts-based mobile art education and entertainment business Let’s Gogh Art. After watching news reports of the earthquake, the girls devised a way to use art to help people who’ve experienced severe misfortune feel “a little less alone, a little more hope, and a lot more loved.”

Kate and Emma are asking kids and adults to create handmade, decorated hearts to send Haiti’s children. Grab your markers, crayons, paintbrushes, etc., and draw or make a heart shape. Then create your own unique design inside the heart. You can even include a special message. Then, mail your heart, along with a quick note describing yourself, to: Art Hearts for Haiti, c/o Let’s Gogh Art, P.O. Box 664, Lunenburg, Mass. 01462.
Let’s Gogh Art will package up the hearts as they’re received (there’s no deadline to participate) and mail them to Haiti. You can also see them posted online.

Be the Drum

Be the Drum is a new music project aimed at raising money to donate directly to OxFam bE THE dRUMAmerica’s relief efforts in Haiti. The idea was born after Daniel Gonzales, a Southern California man in the music industry approached several friends about what could be done to help after the earthquake. When one friend lamented that he had nothing to contribute, Gonzales told him, “Everybody has a way to contribute,” and then contacted all the musicians he knew about contributing their work to a compilation of music.

Be the Drum: A Compilation for Relief in Haiti, includes 18 songs from these musicians and can be downloaded from the project’s Web site, which Gonzales’ brother Noah created, along with album artwork. The Web site prompts you to fill out OxFam America’s donation page with a contribution of your own choice or $35 on up to be able to download the music. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to Oxfam America's relief efforts in Haiti .

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has worked in Haiti for 26 years, building homes and shelters for its people. The organization now has a goal of helping 50,000 earthquake-affected families in Haiti by providing emergency shelter kids, removing debris from damaged home sites and providing shelter, new home construction and repairs. Consider raising money as a group to donate to this organization that is directly working to pick up the pieces.

yelehaitiYELEHAITIYele Haiti

Yele Haiti Grammy Award-winning artist and producer and native-born Haitian activist Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti, has been accepting donations. Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill, or text “Haiti” to the same number and $10 will be charged to your phone bill.

Choosing a Chairty

Dozens of ideas for raising funds for Haiti are online. Fundraising experts recommend that people donate to established charities so that they know their money is going to a trusted organization. Visit the Charity Navigator blog for a specific list of established charities accepting donations for Haiti.

Strategies for Fundraising

If you’re looking for information on how to fundraise for Haiti, visit the Step By Step Fundraising Web site. Along with tips and strategies for fundraising in general, the site features a blog entry by its publisher, Sandra Sim, specifically how to raise money for Haiti.