Haiti: where to give

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Unless you've been living under a very large rock, you know that the situation in Haiti is pretty awful right now. Thousands and thousands dead, untold damage, people with nothing. They need a LOT of help. So, this morning, I was looking around, trying to figure out the best place to give, and I thought I'd share my findings with you:

WorldVision: WorldVision is an international Christian-based organization working on humanitarian issues affecting children world-wide. Charity Navigator gives them a four-star rating, with a score of 60.34.

AmeriCares: AmeriCares is an international disaster relief organization, not religiously affiliated. AmeriCares is based in the U.S. but has projects world-wide, focusing on disaster relief and medical outreach. Charity Navigator gives them a four-star rating with a score of 61.28.

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat is a Christian-based organization focusing on providing housing for those who need it, both within the U.S. and worldwide. Charity Navigator gives their international branch four stars and a rating of 60.78.

Feed the Children: Feed the Children is a Christian-based international organization focusing on providing food, medicine, and clothing to people in need. Charity Navigator gives them four stars and a 69.19 rating.

Doctors without Borders: Doctors without Borders is an international organization focusing on providing medical care in high-needs areas. Charity Navigator gives them four stars and a 61.23 rating.

Red Cross: The Red Cross is probably the most well-known organization and the one that gets the most donations in times like these. It is an international organization focused on emergency response and disaster relief. Charity Navigator gives the Red Cross three stars and a rating of 54.62.

Hands Together: Hands Together is a Catholic-based organization dedicating to helping the poor, particularly in Haiti. Charity Navigator gives them four stars and a rating of 67.36.

Hope for Haiti: Hope for Haiti is another Haiti-focused organization. It is not religiously based and focuses on empowering Haitians in the areas of education, health care, and nutrition, but also runs a disaster relief program. Charity Navigator gives it a four star rank and a rating of 64.82.

These are clearly just a few options. Charity Navigator has provided a list on their site of organizations they evaluate who have Haiti programs; there are several more highly-ranked options there. They also provide some pretty good advice on how to choose where to give and why.

For me, it's a combination of which particular work I want to support the most (medical, housing, food, whatever) and the organization itself. Out of personal preference, I don't generally give to religiously-based organizations (note: this is NOT me saying that nobody should, just that I prefer not to when there are other options). In a situation like this one, I'm also more inclined to give to an organization with a history working in the country in need--Haiti--as they're more likely to have a good idea what is needed and where, and already have some structure. So, this time around, I'm directing my dollars to Hope for Haiti. But really, anywhere you give is better than not doing it at all, you know? So if you've got any extra cash at the moment, please do think about putting it towards these folks who need it pretty desperately.

One more thing: if you have the cash, please don't donate on a credit card. The CC processor gets part of the donation that way, and you really want all your money to go to folks who actually need it, right?

Also, if you have other organizations you want to suggest, please leave them in the comments. I'd be happy to add to the post with your suggestions.

Additional suggestions from WINOW readers:

World Society for the Protection of Animals: WSPA is a non-profit focusing on animal welfare worldwide. They do work with companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife, as well as disaster relief work for all types of animals. Charity Navigator gives them two stars and a rating of 49.96.

Yele Haiti: Yele is a grassroots organization working for the betterment of Haiti. It was founded by Wyclef Jean in 2005. It has not been evaluated by Charity Navigator.

Best Friends Animal Society: Best Friends Animal Society is a Utah-based animal sanctuary and rescue network. In Haiti, they will focus on pet rescue, once that is possible. Charity Navigator gives them four stars and a rating of 60.71.

4 Comments

It's a little bit early to start worrying about animal rescue in Haiti, since the aid organizations are having a hard enough time dealing with saving the people and the entire country's infrastructure has collapsed. Nevertheless, the Best Friends Animal Society is one of the few national relief organizations that is even talking about animal rescue in Haiti, and they have experience with airlifting animals out of disaster areas and war zones. They admittedly are not doing anything yet, but are monitoring the situation and will act as soon as conditions on the ground are decent enough that they can mount a successful rescue operation. http://network.bestfriends.org/

You can also try Yele (http://www.yele.org/). You can donate by texting "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to the effort (the charge shows up on your cell phone bill).

We are planned givers to World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and they're deploying rescue workers to deal with the animals, both domestic and farm.

I have read negative things about Wyclef Jean and his organizations. I'd thoroughly look into him/them before donating to Yele Haiti.

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