In the past week, I've received several suspicious emails asking for donations to help Haiti. Two of them appeared to be from the American Red Cross, but there were many misspellings in the text. It's unfortunate that people are trying to scam others during such a tragedy, but they are. So if you plan to donate, be careful. Make sure you are choosing an organization that can be trusted.
So many organizations are providing relief to Haiti, that if you want to help, it's difficult to know the best place to give a donation. I was going to provide a list, but there are already many lists on the Internet. So, the following is mainly a list of lists.
1. Network for Good is a website that provides links to charitable organizations. It also gives some information on what each organization does. http://www.networkforgood.org/
2. KBUR is an area radio station that has provided a list of links to charities. I would guess that websites for local radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers around the country are providing the same kinds of links.
3. MSNBC has a very good list of reliable organizations.
4. Care2 provides a list of links as well as phone numbers for many of the charities.
5. If you're short on money, but would still like to help, visit the Care2 Click-to-Donate website. You click and sponsors turn the clicks into donations. Its free for you. You can click once per day. http://www.care2.com/click-to-donate/. The Hunger Site provides a similar service at http://www.thehungersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1.
6. The following website says that when you donate, they divide your donation between the many organizations that are listed (scroll down on their website for the list).
Caution: It also helps to know how texting a donation works. The donation may not be made at the time of the text, but when you pay your cell phone bill.
Caution: Be careful of new charities. While many are legitimate, it's definitely worth the time to make sure. Often times it's best to stick with established charities. A good place to check for these is at Charity Navigator http://www.charitynavigator.org/. They also provide a list of things you shouldn't do (such as donate to the Haitian government). Find this list at http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=1004.
Others: There are also many places to donate that you might not expect, but again be careful. Check them out first.
1. iTunes: If you have iTunes on your computer, go to the iTunes Store. From there you can click on a button that allows you to make a donation to the American Red Cross.
2. Ben Stiller has been working with Save the Children to build a school in Haiti. Donations can be given at http://stillerstrong.org/
3. The Dr. Oz Show also has a list of organizations accepting donations. Find it at http://doctoroz.com/videos/donate-haiti.
4. Donation efforts even show up in the most unexpected places. For instance, if you play Zoo World on Facebook, you can make a donation of $1.00 through a Paypal account. For that dollar, you get a Haitian Relief Flamingo for your zoo as well as 2 Wildlife Points.
The people of Haiti need your support, just make sure you're donating to an organization that will get that support to them. Keep in mind that they're going to need support for many years to come. Many donations have been given, but also consider giving again in a month or in three months or a year. The devastation of this earthquake and its aftershocks will be felt for a long time to come.