The United States has always been a nation of givers. Despite the recession and high unemployment, approximately 80% of Americans continued to give to religious and/or secular charities. This trend has continued in earnest following the recent catastrophe in Haiti. A new survey released by Zogby Interactive found that 64% of Ameircan adults have given or intend to give to relief efforts to aid to the earthquake-ravaged nation. The survey, released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, found that 33% of respondents have already made a donation.
Perhaps you’re worried that declaring bankruptcy means you cannot donate. But, in fact, bankruptcy laws protect both debtors’ rights to give back. And now for those affected by the recession or for those bankruptcy bound, there’s even more reason to give back to Haiti.
As The Huffington Post reported on January 22, Taxpayers will now be able to write off charitable donations made by the end of February to Haitian relief efforts when they file their 2009 taxes under a bill President Barack Obama signed Friday. Under current law, donors would have to wait until they file their 2010 returns next year to take the deductions. The measure received final approval from Congress on January 21.
The hope is to encourage more donations. And now is your chance to answer that call.
According to President Obama and Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator working to "advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace," listed below are prominent relief organizations, all of which are in dire need of donations specifically for Haitian relief efforts.
The American Red Cross has a full-time staff in Haiti, providing ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness programs. The Red Cross has already pledged an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by the earthquake. They seek additional donations to continue providing food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is the unprecedented collaboration effort at the request of President Obama partnering former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to help the Haitian people reclaim their country and rebuild their lives through donations of basic needs-- food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies.
Direct Relief International is a U.S.-based organization that provides medical assistance to impoverished nations. Direct Relief has committed up to $1 million to aid emergency response efforts, including medicine, supplies and food.
Doctors Without Borders is currently on the ground in Haiti continuing their mission as an international medical humanitarian organization working to assist people whose survival is threatened by this catastrophe.
Operation USA operates in Haiti, and is sending additional medical aid, water-purification supplies and food supplements to the hard-hit nation.
Convoy of Hope has established a command center just outside of Haiti's capital where it is distributing food, water and supplies to the victims of the earthquake.
Oxfam America uses advocacy and education to aid areas in need of assistance. Oxfam is coordinating international aid groups to bring emergency water and sanitation services to Haiti.
Partners in Health has launched the Stand With Haiti campaign, bringing modern medical care to this nation and other countries around the world. Partners in Health has worked in Haiti for nearly 25 years and, since the earthquake, continues to provide medical assistance.
The Salvation Army is mobilizing personnel and supplies to assist in the relief effort in Haiti. The Salvation Army has already dedicated $850,000 in direct aid to the country; further donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. The Salvation Army is also collecting $5 dollar donations by text. Mobile phone users in the United States can text the word HAITI to 52000.
UNICEF saw its offices in Port-au-Prince suffer heavy damages in the earthquake, but is ready to provide relief, deploying essential aid such as safe water, sanitation supplies, therapeutic foods, temporary shelter materials and medical supplies-- all to assist in recovery efforts.
World Vision has worked in Haiti for 30 years, and is seeking donations to provide victims with food, water, blankets and tents.
Yele Haiti is entertainer Wyclef Jean's own charitable organization and has established an online donation site to help victims of the earthquake. Through Jean's Twitter account, the Haitian native also asks his fans to lend a hand, by making a $5 donation by texting YELE to 501 501.
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