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American Red Cross Among the Many Providing Assistance in Haiti


Across the world, millions of dollars are being raised to help the people of Haiti receive much needed medical attention and supplies since the earthquake destroyed the capital city five days ago.

Yesterday, the American Red Cross arrived in Port-au-Prince to provide water and first aid to the Haitian people. Steve McAndrew, disaster relief specialist with the American Red Cross said, “America’s support – donations made in the United States – is reaching the hands of survivors in Haiti.” The agency is also helping transport people to health facilities for further care and help survivors find lost loved ones.

As part of their relief effort, 50-bed field hospitals and water purification equipment were delivered on January 16th. Additional equipment, medical supplies, and materials are expected in Port-au-Prince today.

CBS News helped the agency deliver blood into Port-au-Prince yesterday as well. The red Cross has an agreement with the United Nations Mission Hospital in Haiti to send 13 units of blood every three weeks. The hospital needed additional blood because of the medical emergencies, and because of difficulties with air travel into the country, CBS New arranged for the shipment to be delivered into Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The news crew then chartered another plane carrying the blood and delivered it to waiting United Nations personnel upon arrival. The Red Cross also delivered more than 100 units of blood to evacuees and patients at Guantanamo Bay.

UNICEF is another agency providing assistance in Haiti. They will focus on clean water and sanitation, therapeutic food for infants and small children, medical supplies and temporary shelter.

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President Obama and Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush have also announced US government efforts for long-term assistance in Haiti. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Global Health is sending specialists to Haiti to help with medical needs. They are expected to arrive Wednesday, January 20. To date, USAID has provided nearly $55 million to Haiti for assistance after the devastating earthquake.

Healthcare agencies and corporations across the country are providing financial assistance to relief efforts as well. HCA has committed $1 million dollars to go to the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Kaiser Permanente will donate $500,000, to be divided among four groups: Doctors Without Borders, Relief International, Operation USA and MedShare International. Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization, will work with Hope for Haiti to deliver 1 million children’s vitamin supplements to be used over the long-term recovery process.

Nearly 7,500 registered nurses have signed up through National Nurses United to volunteer for disaster relief, the largest volunteer registration in US history. Stanford Hospitals and Clinics has sent a seven-person team of physicians and nurses to Haiti to assist with medical needs. They have delivered $18,000 worth of supplies such as antibiotics, splints, thermometers and pain medication.

Celebrities and sports figures are contributing as well. Among them, Lady Gaga made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show this past Friday announcing a donation from the proceeds from a future concert and George Clooney is coordinating a telethon for raising money for Haitian relief efforts.

The National Football League and NFL Players Association are donating $500,000 to the American Red Cross through the NFL-NFLPA Disaster Relief Fund established in 2001. Pregame and in-game messages during the weekend’s playoff games will also promote donations valued at $1.5 million. In addition, NFL owners and players are making their own donations. Former NBA Player Alonzo Mourning has formed “Athlete Relief Fund for Haiti”, which will join with 4 Survival To Go, an emergency preparedness company who is donating 20% of online sales to raise money through Project MediShare, a non-profit organization set up in 1995 to assist with improving health and well-being of the Haitian people.

For information on how to assist any of these agencies in their relief efforts, please visit the following websites:
American Red Cross www.redcross.org
UNICEF www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake
Stanford Hospitals, email [email protected]
National Nurses United www.nationalnursesunited.org
Vitamin Angels www.vitaminangels.org

The Red Cross is also receiving money through a third party mobile fundraising effort sponsored by Mobile Accord. Text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a ten dollar donation to the American Red Cross.