Donations for Haiti Earthquake Victims

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Dagwood
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Donations for Haiti Earthquake Victims

Post by Dagwood » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:53 pm

My wife and I schedule the bulk of our annual charitable giving through Catholic Charities, but I am not sure of the best way to efficiently get money to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. My initial thoughts are to stick with Catholic Charities or Catholic Relief Services, and also the American Red Cross. Do folks here have any thoughts on the subject? Thank you.

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Re: Donations for Haiti Earthquake Victims

Post by dm200 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:14 pm

raymondalombardo wrote:My wife and I schedule the bulk of our annual charitable giving through Catholic Charities, but I am not sure of the best way to efficiently get money to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. My initial thoughts are to stick with Catholic Charities or Catholic Relief Services, and also the American Red Cross. Do folks here have any thoughts on the subject? Thank you.
I think (could be wrong) that Catholic Charities focuses on domestic causes.[There is actually a national organization, as well as separately operated organizations in each Catholic Diocese]

CRS (Catholic Relief Services), I know, is active in Haiti and is involved in these efforts. I believe that would be a good choice, but I am also sure there are many fine other organizations, and there is probably not one that is "best". I would steer away from any kind of startup organzation or fund that did not tie into an organization that did not already have operations already "on the ground" in Haiti.

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Re: Donations for Haiti Earthquake Victims

Post by epilnk » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:25 pm

Paul Farmer's Partner's in Health has an earthquake fund.
http://www.pih.org/home.html

Linda

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Post by Stonebr » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:26 pm

cnn addresses this question in the attached link

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/

Highly recommended is to check out a charity through Charitynavigator.org before donating. What you are looking for is a charity that focuses on international disaster relief and has a high 4-star rating. Most of the ones in cnn's list are big enough to have clout and lots of experience.

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Post by Stonebr » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:30 pm

Here's the list from cnn if you haven't clicked on the link.

• International Medical Corps
• Direct Relief International
• World Vision
• International Relief Teams
• Yéle Haiti
• American Red Cross
• Operation USA
• CARE
• Catholic Relief Services
• World Food Programme
• World Concern
• Save the Children
• UNICEF USA
• Mercy Corps
• Operation Blessing International
• Shelterbox
• Americares
• Operation USA
• Doctors Without Borders
• Medical Teams International
• The International Committee of the Red Cross
• The Salvation Army

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Post by Puakinekine » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:45 pm

Here is a list from the New York Times:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0 ... ontribute/

I have used Doctor's Without Borders and Oxfam in the past and received a minimum of subsequent solicitation. DWB sends a world map every year.

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Post by Dagwood » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:48 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Obviously, it's always a good idea to reduce administrative expenses so as to increase the amount that actually goes to those in need, but in this case that need is particularly acute given the nature of the calamity there. And if anyone has any other specific suggestions, please let me know. I'll do some research tonight based on what I've found and what I've read here. Thank you again.

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Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:49 pm

I read the MSF hospital was destroyed. They could probably use the cash.

You could also send the money to the Navy. It sounds like they'll be sending the Mercy or the Comfort down there. I was just told I'm on standby to go too. So if you want, you can send your donations to me on Paypal. :)
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Post by Sheepdog » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:52 pm

www.redcross.org I just donated to the emergency disaster fund thru the Red Cross. Even the Red Cross' office there was damaged or destroyed.
Jim
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Post by epilnk » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:36 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I read the MSF hospital was destroyed. They could probably use the cash.
In the aftermath of the horrific 2004 tsunami many people (including us) chose to donate to MSF (=Doctors Without Borders). As soon as they maxxed out their capacity to help in that region they sent out a call asking people to stop donating to their tsunami effort, and please send the money to another relief organization that might still be underfunded.

This is an organization you can trust to use your donation wisely, and as you intended. We continue to donate to MSF, but now always with no strings attached because we know they will put it to the best use, and they see more than we do.

Linda

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Post by Levett » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:06 pm

Linda,

I entirely agree about MSF (where I've sent my contribution), but all of the listed organizations will provide assistance--the sooner the better. Bob U.
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Post by jml39 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:06 pm

Just donated to Catholic Charities today. They have an online site which I googled, and gave a donation via credit card. Received an acknowledgement within minutes via e-mail.

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Post by imagardener » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:40 pm

I donated to these two

www.hopeforhaiti.com
a small charity with low overhead, the CEO is paid $50k unlike the $400k some of the bigger charities command

and The Salvation Army
already on the ground in Haiti with generators and helping.

I use www.charitynavigator.org to research charities

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Post by sscritic » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:09 pm

Not to bring finances into this, but I will. After the flooding in the Philippines, I had trouble finding charities that were helping and for which donations were tax deductible in the US.

None of the publications listing ways to give to help in Haiti have separated out tax-deductible from not tax-deductible charities.

Can anyone cite a list of tax-deductible Haiti relief charities?

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:59 pm

sscritic wrote:Not to bring finances into this, but I will. After the flooding in the Philippines, I had trouble finding charities that were helping and for which donations were tax deductible in the US.

None of the publications listing ways to give to help in Haiti have separated out tax-deductible from not tax-deductible charities.

Can anyone cite a list of tax-deductible Haiti relief charities?
If tax deductibility is important, I would pick one from the list that I liked, and then contact them about tax deductibility.

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Post by mudfud » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:10 pm

Yes, I know folks at Partners in Health who have done some incredible work in Haiti. They need all the assistance we can muster.

Please help.

http://www.pih.org/home.html

Edit: Yes, your contribution is tax-deductible.
Last edited by mudfud on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by pr » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:42 am

I made a donation to UNICEF yesterday. They have been my favorite charity for years. I feel that they do an excellent job plus it is tax deductible. They sent me a receipt in the form of an email within 10 minutes of my donation.

You can also text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the red cross.

EDIT: As of 9:30 am today the Red Cross has received nealy 3 million dollars via texting.

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Post by Dagwood » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:48 am

Thank you all for the feedback. While I'm aware of some of the websites out there, I like to hear from people with personal experience with a charity. Just something I've learned over the years.

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Post by vgoel » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:14 pm

I am used to getting good financial advice on this forum. This thread helped me narrow down my choice of charities. I ended up donating small sums to MSF, Partners in Health and Hope for Haiti. I am very grateful.
Last edited by vgoel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by woof755 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:55 pm

Sheepdog wrote:www.redcross.org I just donated to the emergency disaster fund thru the Red Cross. Even the Red Cross' office there was damaged or destroyed.
Jim
Ditto. Tax deductible, FWIW.
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Red Cross bulletin

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:18 am

I just received this message thru the Red Cross.
If you can give more, please consider doing so. https://american.redcross.org/site/Dona ... t2.app234b
Thank you.
Jim
Earthquake in Haiti: Situational Update #16
January 14, 2010

In the 48 hours since the earthquake struck in Haiti, the American Red Cross has received nearly $35 million in donations, and we are thankful for this unprecedented outpouring of support.

More than half of the donations have been through online contributions, with strong support as well from corporations and the unprecedented activity over the past two days in mobile giving.

The American Red Cross has already released $10 million for relief efforts in Haiti. That is only our initial commitment, and based on the amount of money we’ve raised already, we will certainly add more. Future allocations will be made once we know more about the situation on the ground in Haiti and the greatest needs in both the short-term and in the long-term.

The response to the emergency in Haiti has been impressive and moving, and the donations to the American Red Cross have exceeded the totals amounts received in the first 48 hours of both Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Just because it isn't your fault doesn't mean it isn't your responsibility....Josh Reid Jones

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Post by norm » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:14 am

I made a contribution to Save The Children - Haiti on line.

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Post by mikep » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:32 pm

Write a check so the CC companies don't take their 3% cut to fatten their bottom line.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/201001 ... ost/423238

I'm sick of all the reward credit cards that people use to get 1-2% back without realizing they drive up overall prices by 3%.

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Post by imagardener » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:03 pm

I read that Amex was the only CC not charging their % fee for Haiti donations.

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Post by cinghiale » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:06 pm

One of the posts above mentioned Direct Relief International. I have found it to be one of the most effective and cost effective groups out there for getting into emergency situations and delivering needed supplies. For those still looking over the choices, see www.directrelief.org. Today's web site contains the following report: "Haiti Quake: Direct Relief Using GIS Mapping to Coordinate Effective and Targeted Assistance."
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Post by Alex Frakt » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:15 pm

mikep wrote:Write a check so the CC companies don't take their 3% cut to fatten their bottom line.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/201001 ... ost/423238

I'm sick of all the reward credit cards that people use to get 1-2% back without realizing they drive up overall prices by 3%.
From the article:
Update at 6:44 PM: Visa announced this evening that it, too, will not apply fees to charitable donations related to the crisis in Haiti through February.

Update at 3:13 PM: American Express announced today that processing fees for any donations made to the 65 charities listed on this website between January 12 and the end of February will be rebated back to those charities.
BTW, checks have processing costs as well. It's probably a wash for donations of $50 and under.

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Post by mikep » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:19 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
mikep wrote:Write a check so the CC companies don't take their 3% cut to fatten their bottom line.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/201001 ... ost/423238

I'm sick of all the reward credit cards that people use to get 1-2% back without realizing they drive up overall prices by 3%.
From the article:
Update at 6:44 PM: Visa announced this evening that it, too, will not apply fees to charitable donations related to the crisis in Haiti through February.

Update at 3:13 PM: American Express announced today that processing fees for any donations made to the 65 charities listed on this website between January 12 and the end of February will be rebated back to those charities.
BTW, checks have processing costs as well. It's probably a wash for donations of $50 and under.
Thanks Alex for the correction. However, banks eat the check processing cost where the Charity eats the CC fee? I'd rather have the bank pay than the charity. Looks like Visa and Amex are ok. Mastercard, discover.. maybe not (yet). Also, the true, true cost of processing a CC transaction is far less than the 3% charged to the charity.

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Post by sscritic » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:24 pm

Do be aware of scams!
Cybercriminals quickly mobilized following the news of a massive earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday, by introducing several hundred compromised domains embedded with bogus blackhat seo (search engine optimization) content related to Red Cross donations and general Haiti earthquake relief information.

The sites are already appearing within the first 10 search results on Google, and upon clicking on them the user is redirected to one of the most profitable monetization tactic (FBI: Scareware distributors stole $150M) that scammers use these days - scareware also known as rogueware.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=5244

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Post by Alex Frakt » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:03 pm

mikep wrote:
Alex Frakt wrote:BTW, checks have processing costs as well. It's probably a wash for donations of $50 and under.
Thanks Alex for the correction. However, banks eat the check processing cost where the Charity eats the CC fee? I'd rather have the bank pay than the charity. Looks like Visa and Amex are ok. Mastercard, discover.. maybe not (yet).
Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of cc processing fees. But I still say it's a wash for small donations. First off, what makes you think that banks eat the check processing cost? With corporate checking accounts, including charitable corporations, you typically pay for every single transaction including check deposits. I even had a bank impose a charge for depositing cash (I switched banks). They may give you a certain number of transactions "free", but only if your balances are high enough and your interest rate low enough that the bank comes out ahead anyway. Furthermore, the largest cost of processing checks is paying someone to sort through all the envelopes, put together the deposits, and handle all the recordkeeping. And then there's the bounced check fees.

Finally 3% is on the high side. The dollar weighted average for charities is much closer to 2%. You can even get it for free from google checkout for nonprofits.

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Re: Red Cross bulletin

Post by catdude » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:09 pm

Sheepdog wrote:I just received this message thru the Red Cross.
If you can give more, please consider doing so. https://american.redcross.org/site/Dona ... t2.app234b
Thank you.
Jim
Jim, thanks much for providing a link -- I just used it to make a contribution...
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Blood is needed also

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:59 pm

johnny wrote:
Sheepdog wrote:I just received this message thru the Red Cross.
If you can give more, please consider doing so. https://american.redcross.org/site/Dona ... t2.app234b
Thank you.
Jim
Jim, thanks much for providing a link -- I just used it to make a contribution...
You are welcome.

IF YOU HAVE A REBATE DUE FROM YOUR DISCOVER CARD YOU CAN DONATE IT TO THE RED CROSS AND DISCOVER CARD WILL MATCH THAT DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. http://www.discovercard.com/landing-pages/relief/

ALSO, Blood is needed down there also. Blood is being shipped from our blood banks even though there is not an abundant supply here. So, contact your local blood bank to give this weekend if you can
Last edited by Sheepdog on Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by will23 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:27 pm

mikep wrote:
Alex Frakt wrote:
mikep wrote:Write a check so the CC companies don't take their 3% cut to fatten their bottom line.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/201001 ... ost/423238

I'm sick of all the reward credit cards that people use to get 1-2% back without realizing they drive up overall prices by 3%.
From the article:
Update at 6:44 PM: Visa announced this evening that it, too, will not apply fees to charitable donations related to the crisis in Haiti through February.

Update at 3:13 PM: American Express announced today that processing fees for any donations made to the 65 charities listed on this website between January 12 and the end of February will be rebated back to those charities.
BTW, checks have processing costs as well. It's probably a wash for donations of $50 and under.
Thanks Alex for the correction. However, banks eat the check processing cost where the Charity eats the CC fee? I'd rather have the bank pay than the charity. Looks like Visa and Amex are ok. Mastercard, discover.. maybe not (yet). Also, the true, true cost of processing a CC transaction is far less than the 3% charged to the charity.
Discover card is waiving the transaction fee for the following

American Red Cross | Americares | CARE USA | Direct Relief International | Doctors Without Borders
Habitat for Humanity | International Rescue Committee | Mercy Corps | Oxfam America
Save the Children | U.S. Fund for Unicef


Source: http://www.discovercard.com/landing-pages/relief/

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Post by ickeal » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:53 am

Sent in my pledge to the US Fund for UNICEF. 100% of the money will be used to save children's lives.

http://www.unicefusa.org/

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Post by catdude » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:04 am

Sunday's Washington Post has a good column by Michelle Singletary on the need to be wary of scammers exploiting the Haiti earthquake tragedy:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 04692.html
No doubt you've seen the fraud warnings, but they are worth repeating. The FBI and the Better Business Bureau recommend the following:

-- Don't respond to any unsolicited incoming e-mail or click on links contained within those messages.

-- Be skeptical of people who claim to be surviving victims. After Katrina, dozens of individuals were indicted for falsely representing themselves as such.

-- Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims. Despite what some organizations might say, there are expenses connected to collecting money. Even a credit card donation may involve, at minimum, a processing fee.

-- Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations. There are a number of Internet-based resources that can assist you in vetting a charity. For example, you can go to http://www.bbb.org/charity, http://www.charitywatch.org or http://www.guidestar.org.
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Re: Blood is needed also

Post by tonythered » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:41 am

Sheepdog wrote: IF YOU HAVE A REBATE DUE FROM YOUR DISCOVER CARD YOU CAN DONATE IT TO THE RED CROSS AND DISCOVER CARD WILL MATCH THAT DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. http://www.discovercard.com/landing-pages/relief/
Thanks, Sheepdog! I just donated my rewards that I had built up. I hope that link is being truthful, because when I was working through the form, Discover said they'd match funds to the charity that got the most donations from cardholders throughout the year. That's very different than matching dollar for dollar specifically on the Haiti relief effort, and it sounds like they may not give the money to them until the end of 2010....?

I'll never know what Discover does either way, but I can only hope the link is honest. Thanks again for sending!

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Post by tonythered » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:51 am

Update to my last post.... I just emailed Discover. It says to expect a response within 2 business days, so I will share their response when I receive it. I think you have to be logged in to Discovercard.com to view the 2nd link I posted, but the relevant text is included below.

I wrote to them:
Hi,
For the Haiti relief efforts, this page says that you will match my rewards donation dollar for dollar:
http://www.discovercard.com/landing-pages/relief/

I donated my rewards based on that, but I noticed the wording on this page is different:
https://www.discovercard.com/cardmember ... owseDonate
There, Discover says "Discover Card will make an annual contribution to the organization that receives the most donations from our Cardmembers."

So which is it? I hope Discover is matching the funds immediately, not at the end of the year, and that it isn't waiting to see if the Red Cross gets the most donations before giving...

Please update the site for consistency, as I think this is a great program (assuming the first link above is accurate) and I wouldn't want to see people not donate based on confusion like I've experienced. Thanks!

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Post by Sheepdog » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:03 am

tonythered wrote:Update to my last post.... I just emailed Discover. It says to expect a response within 2 business days, so I will share their response when I receive it. I think you have to be logged in to Discovercard.com to view the 2nd link I posted, but the relevant text is included below.

I wrote to them:
Hi,
For the Haiti relief efforts, this page says that you will match my rewards donation dollar for dollar:
http://www.discovercard.com/landing-pages/relief/

I donated my rewards based on that, but I noticed the wording on this page is different:
https://www.discovercard.com/cardmember ... owseDonate
There, Discover says "Discover Card will make an annual contribution to the organization that receives the most donations from our Cardmembers."

So which is it? I hope Discover is matching the funds immediately, not at the end of the year, and that it isn't waiting to see if the Red Cross gets the most donations before giving...

Please update the site for consistency, as I think this is a great program (assuming the first link above is accurate) and I wouldn't want to see people not donate based on confusion like I've experienced. Thanks!
Excellent follow through.
Thank you.
Jim
Just because it isn't your fault doesn't mean it isn't your responsibility....Josh Reid Jones

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Post by tonythered » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:32 pm

Just got a response from Discover. They confirmed that they are matching donations up to $1 million:
Thank you for your recent inquiry about the charitable donation effort for Haiti. I can understand your concern and I am happy to assist you today. I have escalated this issue to the appropriate parties in our company for review of the confusing information on the website.

Discover is contributing by matching dollar-for-dollar Cashback Bonus donations from Cardmembers to American Red Cross, up to $1 million total.
They went on to provide me the link again and to ask that I complete a survey of my customer service experience.

So that's good news, and they responded quickly. I'll be very impressed if their site is updated this week to address the inconsistency.

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Post by sscritic » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:01 am

Saw a post on the NY Times about rating the charities working in Haiti. The ratings were provided by Charity Navigator.
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0 ... in-haiti-2 (see the Update from 9:22 a.m) The post gives more detail about how the ratings were derived and the history of the work each charity is doing in Haiti.
Here is Charity Navigator’s list of charities, in order of their overall rating from the group, with some details of the work each is engaged in now in Haiti:

Partners in Health: Overall Rating: 66.98 Efficiency Rating: 39.48 Capacity Rating: 27.5

Water Missions International: Overall Rating: 66.02 Efficiency Rating: 38.52 Capacity Rating: 27.50

Save the Children: Overall Rating: 64.17 Efficiency Rating: 39.17 Capacity Rating: 25.00

CARE: Overall Rating: 62.53 Efficiency Rating: 39.03 Capacity Rating: 23.49

Direct Relief International: Overall Rating: 62.39 Efficiency Rating: 39.89 Capacity Rating: 22.50

Food for the Poor: Overall Rating: 62.25 Efficiency Rating: 39.75 Capacity Rating: 22.50

Americares: Overall Rating: 61.28 Efficiency Rating: 39.87 Capacity Rating: 21.4

Convoy of Hope: Overall Rating: 61.50 Efficiency Rating: 39.00 Capacity Rating: 22.50

Doctors Without Borders, USA: Overall Rating: 61.23 Efficiency Rating: 33.73 Capacity Rating: 27.50

American Red Cross: Overall Rating: 54.62 Efficiency Rating: 36.51 Capacity Rating: 18.11

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Post by thedude » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:18 pm

I heard on NPR this morning that Partners in Health has been in Haiti for 20 years. I was glad that I gave through them.

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Post by In The Weeds » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:12 pm

I don't see UMCOR mentioned yet. I'd like to add it to the list

United Methodist Committee on Relief
http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/work/emer ... arthquake/

UMCOR has also been active in Haiti before the earthquake. Also, just a reminder that Haiti is just one of the places that needs help. It's needs are most immediate at the moment but that doesn't lessen the needs everywhere else.
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