Even before Tuesday’s devastating earthquake, Haiti was plagued by brutal numbers: 78 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day, in a country the size of the state of Maryland, with problems as big as the planet.
And then came the latest catastrophic number: 7.0
The International Red Cross has said that as many as three million people may have been killed, injured, or made homeless by the quake.
But on the Richter scale of responsibility, the world’s reaction has also been seismic, with America leading a global relief effort of governments, corporations, and individuals. U.S. cell phone users alone have already donated $8 million to the Red Cross by texting the word “Haiti” to the number 90999. The contributions, in increments of $10 each, form the largest ever charitable response by mobile phone.
“You will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten,” President Obama told the Haitian people Thursday from the White House. “In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you.”
The immediate task for relief workers is monumental, with infrastructure collapsed, and along with it any semblance of government or institutions. The lone American reporter based in Haiti’s capitol before the quake put it this way: “An entire city is screaming for help.”
For more information on how to donate, click here for information about how to contribute and links to the numerous charities providing aid to Haiti. To evaluate charitable organizations and for other tips on giving, visit www.charitynavigator.org.