Lifestyle

How San Diegan’s can help the Haiti Relief Effort

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Photo from UN Development Programme via Flickr

Photo from UN Development Programme via Flickr

It has been five days since the 7.0 earthquake hit the Caribbean island of Haiti. It is no surprise that San Diego has already offered significant support. Not only have citizens offered moral and monetary support, but local military forces and search teams have been deployed to Haiti to aid in recovery efforts.

The USS Carl Vinson was on its way to its new port in San Diego when the quake hit. It was quickly rerouted to the Caribbean after getting the call for help. Vinson arrived in Haiti with medicine and supplies on Thursday. Military officials have not said when the ship will return to San Diego.

Joining Vinson will be the San Diego based USS Higgins. Higgins will administer logistical support to the helicopters aiding those in need. Military officials say Haiti will be getting more help from San Diego in the form of additional Navy men and women who will help in search and rescue.

Photo from US Army via Flickr

Photo from US Army via Flickr

In addition to the military, many local agencies are offering help. The Salvation Army is preparing to send over pre-packaged rations to Haiti. In addition, the Red Cross of San Diego has designed an “International Disaster Relief Fund” where anyone can donate. Donations can be made by credit card, so it can be a great way for anyone to help out. Other groups like International Relief Teams and Rescue Task Force are helping as well by raising money and mobilizing medical and non-medical volunteers.

Apart from military and local non-profits, citizens of San Diegans have already begun reaching out. There are many ways to donate, and much needed funds are continuing to pour in. To get the continued help they need, Haiti will need our continued support. If you’ve donated once, consider donating again. You can even get a little something for yourself in the process!

Blink 182 shirtNorth County’s own Blink 182 is selling exclusive Haiti Charity t-shirts, so if you’re looking for a great way to donate, this might be just for you. All proceeds from sales will go to the Red Cross. Shirts are $15 and can be purchased at the band’s website: blink182merch.com

Many organizations are asking for monetary help but it is important to be cautious to whom you are donating. Scammers tend to come out of the wood works in times like these, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to make sure your money will go to the people who really need it.

  • Donate to well known organizations.
  • If you want to donate to a smaller organization, do your research. Check the BBB and look for the org’s tax status. IRS tax codes can be a way for you to tell exactly where your money is going.
  • Do not donate through email. If you receive an email asking for money, be very weary as they could very well be SPAM.
  • Do not donate over the phone unless you make the phone call yourself. Do not provide credit card or bank information to anyone that contacts you in an unsolicited way.
  • When donating online, make sure the Web site is secure. For example, it should have a lock icon on it or a URL that begins with “https” which means it’s secure.
Photo from UN Development Programme via Flickr

Photo from UN Development Programme via Flickr

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