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Help for Haiti

Montreal La Presse, Ivanoh Demers [1]

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake [2] has rocked and toppled much of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the most powerful quake to strike there in 200 years. The quake lasted a full minute; the Loma Prieta earthquake [3] that shook the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, also 7.0 on the Richter scale, lasted only 15 seconds. (We were there, and believe us, a full minute would feel like days of terror.) Haitian president René Préval says likely thousands are dead. Click here [4] for a video report. (Meanwhile, the very Christian Rev. Pat Robertson helpfully explains that Haiti is “cursed” because “a long time ago . . . they got together and swore a pact to the devil [5]” for help in gaining freedom from the French. “True story [6].”) • Relief agencies are listed below.

President Obama’s Remarks

“. . . for a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible. . . . this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share. With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are neighbors of the Americas and here at home. So we have to be there for them in their hour of need.” [click here [7] for transcript]

Ricardo Arduengo.AP [1]

HOW TO HELP

New York Times list of relief agencies [8]

American Red Cross [9]

Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières [10] has been in Haiti since 1991; has 3 hospitals; perhaps the most established humanitarian presence there: an excellent organization to contribute to.

UNICEF [11] (for children)

Text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill.

Family members concerned about the status of loved ones in Haiti can call the U.S. State Department at 888-407-4747.

Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I would encourage those Americans who want to support the urgent humanitarian efforts to go to whitehouse.gov [12] where you can learn how to contribute. We must be prepared for difficult hours and days ahead as we learn about the scope of the tragedy. We will keep the victims and their families in our prayers. We will be resolute in our response, and I pledge to the people of Haiti that you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America today and going forward.” —President Obama

HaitiQuake [12]

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