New York has the third largest population of Haitians, aside from Haiti itself and Florida. So many of us want to help, but where do we go? Below is a list of places where you can donate, as well as tips to avoid scams. Taken from http://lifehacker.com/5447987/how-and-where-to-donate-to-haiti-and-avoid-scams.
- The American Red Cross is one of the most widely known organizations working in Haiti. They accept online donations, help volunteers arrange to give time or other support, and can accept $10 donations, charged to your cellphone bill, by texting HAITI to 90999.
- UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders, two other groups showing up frequently in calls for help, have set up sites for their Haiti efforts.
- Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has harnessed Twitter to gather support for his Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund, which also offers $5 text message donations.
- The Daily Beast, a news and opinion blog and aggregator, does a good turn by compiling this list of non-governmental organizations helping in Haiti, with some context on each organization and where your money goes.
- Caroline McCarthy’s helpful CNET explainer points to lists compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR News, and CBS News.
Avoiding scams and verifying non-profits
- Send money, not stuff. Charity organizations can use your financial help to restock their supplies, but, as the GlobalPost explains, sending clothes, food, or other items is, at best, misguided.
- Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of non-profits and aid organizations, has compiled a list of relief organizations working in Haiti that have attained three- or four-star ratings from their studies, and are generally considered trustworthy and efficient.
- TIME points out the popularity of text message donation campaigns, but also suggests being cautious of online scams:
As with any kind of giving, it’s wise to verify that the cause you are donating to is a legitimate organization before pledging your funds. This is especially true when you learn of a nonprofit on Facebook, where phishing and other scams can give the impression that your friends are sending out links, when really a spammer has hijacked their identity.
Legitimate organizations also send a confirmation text moments after you donate to verify that you really want to give the specified amount, typically $5 or $10. If you say yes, then the amount will appear on your next cell phone bill. If you did not intend to donate, you can cancel your pledge.
- CBS News recommends checking out any group you’re about to give to at The Foundation Center web site, where you can look up that group’s most recent tax filing and non-profit status.
*** NOTE FOR THOSE IN BROOKLYN: BROOKLYN COLLEGE IS ORGANIZING A RELIEF EFFORT AND ASKING EVERYONE TO HELP BY BRINGING MEDICAL SUPPLIES, BLANKETS, SMALL NONPERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS, ETC. TO 2147 BOYLAN HALL BEFORE 5PM THIS FRIDAY. Even if you are not a student there you can donate. If you have just a few blankets or canned food items and want to donate, Brooklyn College will take it.