How can I help quake victims?
By Stephen Dawkins
Several local organizations are providing ways for people to assist victims of Tuesday’s massive earthquake in Haiti.
Officials estimate the 7.0 magnitude quake killed 50,000 people and left millions in need of aid.
Local chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity are taking donations, and so are local churches.
Marsha Littleton, chairwoman of communications for Clanton First United Methodist Church, said donations made at the church will be forwarded to the United Methodist Committee On Relief.
“The best thing about this is every penny that is donated goes to help,” Littleton said. “Administrative costs are part of the church’s budget, so everything goes to Haiti.”
Donations can be made at United Methodist churches or mailed to: UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087.
“Advance # 418325” should be written on the check’s memo line.
The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions is also providing an opportunity for donations without administrative costs.
Clanton First Baptist Church secretary Sharon Willis said she contacted the state board after members asked her how they could help.
Willis prepared a note to be passed out during Sunday’s services, but said church officials could change how future donations are handled.
Those wanting to donate through the Baptist Church should make checks payable to Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and write “Haiti Disaster Relief” in the memo line. Donations should be mailed to Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, Attention Accounting: Haiti Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 11870, Montgomery, AL 36111.
The American Red Cross of Central Alabama is taking monetary donations only. Checks should be marked “International Relief Fund” and mailed to 5015 Woods Crossing, Montgomery, AL 36106.
Gov. Bob Riley has encouraged donations to the American Red Cross.
“Many Alabamians have contacted my office wanting to know how they can help. We’ve contacted the U.S. State Department, which is advising us that the best way people can help right now is by donating to the American Red Cross,” Riley said. “Our prayers are with the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Alabamians have always come together in times of crisis to help others.”
Donations to the American Red Cross can be made instantly by texting the word “Haiti” to “90999.” This will send $10 to the Red Cross, and the donation will appear on the donor’s next phone bill. Donations to the American Red Cross can also be made at www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief.
Additionally, the State Department is asking those interested in providing further assistance to contact the U.S. Agency for International Development online at www.USAID.gov, where they can register with one of the credible, listed relief organizations.
For those with loved ones in Haiti seeking information regarding their well being, the State Department has established the following telephone numbers: 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.
Individuals seeking other information can contact the 2-1-1 Network by calling 2-1-1 or 1-866-869-4921.
To donate through Habitat For Humanity, visit habitat.org.