Locals can aid Haiti

Published 4:20 pm Monday, January 18, 2010

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Several residents have sought advice on how to donate to Haiti relief efforts in the wake of a devastating earthquake, local Red Cross officials said.
International Red Cross officials have estimated the death toll at 45,000 to 50,000, but Haitian leaders fear the toll is actually far worse. Aid was beginning to arrive Thursday, but agencies and volunteers were overwhelmed trying to care for survivors, locate the missing and treat the wounded.
Financial donations are the best way to help right now, Smith said.
Checks should include the words “Haiti relief” in the “for” line.
One resident said he didn’t have a checking account but planned to deliver cash to the local Red Cross office, Smith said.
The organization even has an easier way to donate — through text message. Anyone with cell phone capability can text “Haiti” to 90999 to give a $10 donation; the money will be charged on your phone bill. Most cell phone companies are waiving text message fees for the donation, including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Sprint was still charging standard text message fees as of Thursday.
The text message effort had raised $3 million so far for Red Cross relief efforts by Thursday, officials said.