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3 ways to help Haiti earthquake victims

Plus, how to avoid donation scams.
People gather outside the Petit Pas Hotel, destroyed by the earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday, with the epicenter about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said.
People gather outside the Petit Pas Hotel, destroyed by the earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday, with the epicenter about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said. [ JOSEPH ODELYN | AP ]
Published Aug. 16
Updated Aug. 17

At least 1,300 people have died after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake devastated Haiti on Saturday. The survivors of the disaster still need help. In the wake of this tragedy, here are some ways to make a difference.

Participate in local fundraisers

Several Tampa Bay groups are working to provide food, medical supplies and other resources to Haiti from afar. Here are a few, as reported by Bay News 9:

Donate to organizations experienced with Haiti

  • Hope For Haiti is based in Naples, but has a team that lives in Haiti to help reduce poverty. Donations will help fund the group’s short- and long-term response.
  • American Jewish World Service is raising funds for its partners in Haiti, who are working locally to provide medical services and emergency food and shelter. Donations will also “support activists facing the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the political instability following the assassination of former president Jovenel Moïse, and the threat of violence from gangs empowered by Moïse and his party.”
  • Convoy of Hope has been helping to feed children in Haiti since 2007, from providing meals at nearly 500 program centers to training rural farmers. The group is accepting donations for disaster survivors.
  • Proceeds from CARE’s Humanitarian Surge Fund help the group’s Rapid Response Team travel to crises around the world. “Experts in providing food, shelter, hygiene kits, and sexual and reproductive health assistance are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, wherever they’re needed,” reads the group’s donation page.
  • Project HOPE uses donations to help its emergency response team on the ground. The group has been working in Haiti since 1980, and helped with disaster response during both the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Donate online.
  • UNICEF USA has provided medical kits to support 30,000 people, and is sending additional water, health and sanitation supplies. Donations help their recovery efforts on the ground.

Watch out for scams

The Federal Trade Commission’s guide for donating wisely can help you avoid scammers. Here are some tips from the guide:

  • Before sending money, research organizations using websites like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and GuideStar. It can also be helpful to search the name of the charity along key words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”
  • Opt to pay with a credit card or check rather than donating with cash, gift cards or wiring money.
  • Write down all of your donations so you can check your bank statements closely later to make sure you were charged correctly.