A massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck late Tuesday devastated Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The capital city was virtually destroyed, and the country does not have the resources to carry out the search-and-rescue operations, provide medical assistance to those injured, and provide housing and basic care for its citizens. Thankfully relief funds are beginning to make their way into Haiti with governments, companies, organizations and every day citizens pledging millions of dollars to the island nation.
Social media, alone, helped raise more than $2 million in relief funding. A donate via text message campaign hit Twitter and spread like wildfire. Texting the phrase “Haiti” to 90999 leads to a donation of $10 to the American Red Cross via a charge on your cell phone bill. Despite today’s horrible economy, citizens of this world stood up and took action.
Just this morning, President Obama held a press conference announcing that $100 million is earmarked to providing relief efforts to Haiti and that is just the first round of relief funding.
“And today, I'm also announcing an immediate investment of $100 million to support our relief efforts. This will mean more of the life-saving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed. This investment will grow over the coming year as we embark on the long-term recovery from this unimaginable tragedy.” Source: White House
In addition to the money raised through the text message campaign and the $100 million coming from the U.S. government, companies and organizations across the nation are also pledging funds for Haiti relief efforts.
Abbott Pharmaceuticals is donating $1 million to help Haiti’s health care system. Abbott Pharmaceuticals and their philanthropic organization the Abbott Fund already have a presence in Haiti. The Abbott Fund has provided more than $34 million in funding to address HIV, diabetes, child malnutrition, and maternal health in Haiti since 2007.
The American Red Cross has pledged an initial amount of $1 million to Haiti; this money will come from the International Response Fund. Its Panamanian warehouse is now open and tarps, mosquito nets, and cooking sets for 5,000 families will be sent to Haiti.
The Walmart Foundation is sending $500,000 in monetary support to Haiti and another $100,000 worth of pre-packaged food kits to help the Red Cross in its relief efforts in the nation. Hanesbrands and Kraft Foods have each pledged $25,000 to the relief efforts in Haiti.
Of course in the midst of this outpouring of support to Haiti, there will inevitably be a few bad apples. Televangelist Pat Robertson has called the quake a blessing in disguise because Haiti made a pact with the devil to oust France.
Additionally, Rush Limbaugh has implored Americans to not donate to Haiti. Here’s an audio clip from his Jan. 13 show.
If you’ve yet to donate to the Haiti earthquake relief effort and would like to do so, you have several options through the American Red Cross —donate by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, texting “Haiti” to 90999, or donate online.