Haiti Relief Continues As More Medical Teams Arrive
Craig Arnold, a UPS executive was amazed that when he returned o the Salvation Army children's home in Haiti after the earthquake that killed 200,000 people, that one of the girls there offered him her bottle of water. "Whenever a crisis occurs, logistics is the first thing that needs addressing," says Ed Martinez, director of philanthropy and corporate relations for the UPS Foundation in Atlanta. This moved Arnold and now UPS says it urges its employees to volunteer.
Meanwhile, a 79-member medical team from Pittsburgh arrived in Haiti last night with 30,000 tons of medical supplies. More important, the return flight carried 80 more orphans, children released at the last minute to fly to Florida and, from there, to families waiting across the United States.
"We did it," beamed James Bouchard, the Pittsburgh businessman who co-sponsored last night's mercy flight. At first, he had expected to return only with exhausted relief workers after the Haitian government balked at any further release of orphans.
A team of SOS staff and volunteers from the Dominican Republic and Costa arrived at the SOS Children's Village in Santo on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince yesterday. They brought with them ten tons of food, water, medicine, tents and fuel. The Emergency Relief Program for Haiti is being led by Johann Denk in Costa Rica. The volunteers from the Dominican Republic are psychologists and social workers who will begin the much needed psychological crisis counseling for survivors. At least another 15 psychologists and social workers from Costa Rica are expected to follow within the coming days.
Finally real help is coming in the form of telephone texting. Through text messaging campaigns, organizations have been receiving donations of $5 or $10 by the simple click of a button. The American Red Cross is one of the leading organizations to tap into the technology, and to date has raised more than $24 million for the people of Haiti from text messages alone.
“This is history, historical, record-breaking results,” said Roger Lowe, of the American Red Cross. “We’ve never seen anything like it. The previous best effort for a text message campaign in the U.S. was at half a million dollars. So this is shattering every record that’s ever been seen.”
To donate $10 to the American Red Cross, text "HAITI" to "90999". You also can text HAITI to 864833 (UNITED). Each text will donate $5 to the United Way Haiti Disaster Recovery Fund. To text Wyclef Jean’s Haitian Yele charity -- send "YELE" to 5-0-1-5-0-1 to donate $5 to this group. Not all "text to donate" services are created equal. Opportunistic scammers typically come out of the woodwork in the wake of catastrophes, hoping to strike it rich through fraudulent schemes so be careful with other text donations.
It’s comforting to know that the world is still helping Haiti and the relief efforts are bridging a world together to help in this crisis.