When there is a disaster, no matter how far or close to home, Americans respond in aces. Since the earthquake struck at Haiti a little over a week ago, donations by Americans have been pouring in, in record numbers, at least according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Charitable organizations have made donating easy by have accepting credit card donations on-line, by accepting texted-donations, by utilizing television, and by utilizing celebrity spokespersons.
US charities raised more than $150 million in the first four days after the quake, surpassing $108 million raised in the four days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the $30 million raised in the three days following the tsunami in Asia in 2004.
An example of America’s generosity in time of crisis can be found in the story of Partners in Health. Based in Boston and co-founded by Harvard Medical School professor Paul Farmer, Partners in Health have been on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years, and have quietly been giving the poorest Haitian people the care they need when they most need it. Over the five days immediately following the earthquake, with the help of some television exposure by the news media, and even celebrities, Partners in Health raised $25 million, equal to its total 2009 budget fro Haiti.
The Chronicle doesn’t include data from “smaller” charities like Partners in Health, who with a little help from their friends, surpassed some of the biggies that do appear in the Chronicle. By Saturday, Care USA had raised $6.1 million, and Catholic Relief Services $10.6 million, Oxfam International collected $7.1 million worldwide, with Oxfam America collecting $4.8 million.
One of the biggest tallies of donations for Haiti since Tuesday, is the American Red Cross which has raised $87 million.
Texting is the new wave of charitable donations, a new market for charitable collection dominated by the younger Americans, and they are all over it, with texted donations of $5 and $10 accounting for 416 million.
The best part of this story, is that finally, the relief is getting to the people, and the multi-national relief effort is making a difference. But Haiti is not out of the woods yet, and your donations are still needed.
For more stories on Haiti click here.
To donate money to the Haitian rescue and relief effort click one of the links below:
- The American Red Cross
- Doctors Without Borders
- Partners in Health
Photo credit: American Red Cross worker Matt Marek hands supplies to Sebastian Claude, left, in Croix Desprez, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. Haiti was struck by a massive earthquake Jan. 12. (AP Photo/American Red Cross, Talia Frenkel) NO SALES.