Haiti Earthquake Relief: How You Can Help

As everybody is well aware on January 12th, 2010, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, causing widespread destruction to the city and surrounding areas, leaving thousands in need of medical attention and many more desperate to survive. The Red Cross estimates the disaster has affected 3 million people and while no official figures exist, media are reporting that thousands are feared dead.

Now nearly one week after this disaster struck, as the spotlight begins to turn away, the needs are as stark as ever. With that, and I realize how far out of character this is, I wanted to ask all of you to consider contributing, knowing many already have, in any way you can to the relief efforts. Here are four ways I have done so:

  1. SMS text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts. This is no doubt the fastest way to contribute to the cause.
  2. Donate money to the charity of your choice (more here…) and don’t forget that your employer likely matches your contribution doubling the impact.
  3. Donate frequent flyer miles/hotel points (more here…)
  4. Bid in the Palate Press Wines for Haiti Auction auction or visit enobytes for food & wine fundraisers for Haiti. Consider reallocating your wine budget for the next three months to purchase wine via one of these auctions.

I’m not concerned with how, where or what you donate. All that I ask is that you do all that you can to support those afflicted during this time of need. If you have any questions or ideas on how I can help further please share them in the comments below. Thank you for your consideration.


An aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows collapsed buildings in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 13. AP / American Red Cross
An aerial photo provided by The American Red Cross shows collapsed buildings in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 13. AP / American Red Cross

Donate Money

As I mentioned above please donate to the charity of your choosing, any is fine with me as it will help with the overall recovery effort. For those of you that may be looking for a recommendation I would offer Doctor’s Without Borders. They are an organization that has been operating for some time in Haiti and are providing excellent coverage as to what is happening on the ground via their site and twitter. The latest being that they have given primary care to 3,000+ people and performed 400+ surgeries, the need for resources is still immense and their latest supply plane was not able to land in Port-au-Prince. I, for one, appreciate this visibility into the situation and feel like I can see my money at work.

For those interested in other options, here is a list of other support organizations that are actively working in the affected areas in Haiti courtesy of the Gates Foundation:

Donate Miles/Points

We all know times are tight and money may not be a feasible option for some. Think beyond dollar donations by donating airline miles and hotel loyalty points. If any of you are like me you have many accounts open where you will never redeem the points. This presents the perfect opportunity to use them to make a difference. Whether American, Continental or United on the airline front or Hilton, Marriott or Starwood for hotels, those and many more offer the opportunities to convert your miles/points into charitable contributions. The LA Times has all the details here.