Saturday, January 16, 2010

Donate Money to aid in Humanitarian Efforts in Haiti

By (CNN) -- As relief assistance continues in Haiti, agencies are asking people for money, not material goods, to keep those efforts going. Most organizations will use the money donated to purchase immediate needs, such as water, food, shelter and medical supplies.

These agencies have set up phone lines, online donation pages and even texting for individuals to contribute to their relief efforts. We've compiled a list of a few organizations who are in Haiti helping those in need.

These resources include the highest-rated charities by which is an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates charity groups based on effectiveness and financial stability. These sites are vetted by CNN journalists for credibility.

Click here for other links to help the people of Haiti.

Click here for a link to the Clinton Bush Haiti fund to donate money to help the people of Haiti.

Click here for a link to America to donate money to help the people of Haiti.

Click here for a link to the American Jewish World Service to donate money to the people of Haiti.

Click here for a link to to donate money to help the people of Haiti.

Click here for links to Habitat for to donate money to help the people of Haiti.

Dear Friends,

(I apologized in advance if you receive multiple copies of this email, or if you received this accidentally. I quickly combined several mailing lists. I am also sending this to news organizations so that they know what is happening with our organization.)

As many of you know, I (Tom Spontelli) traveled to Haiti four months ago in the Fall of 2009 to help a NGO with school construction. Many of you who supported this project have been anxious for news about the children, staff, and volunteers that you have helped to support. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get you the info, but communications have not flowed easily out of the capital.

The schools that our organization has constructed are one story buildings with ceilings, walls, floors and foundations of poured reinforced concrete. Many of you donated money to these efforts. I am very pleased to inform that the schools that we have built have withstood the earthquakes without injuries, fatalities, or damage. The staff, the orphans residing at the schools, and children who were at the school in Port au Prince at the time are without injury! Unfortunately, things are much MUCH worse outside the compound.

The “disaster resistant” buildings were built for “dual-use” so that they could also be used as community disaster shelters in time of emergency or natural disaster. Well, this is one of those times! The well-built school that I worked on in Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti, (and that many of you donated money for) is now functioning as a shelter for refugee orphans from Port au Prince, who no longer have any family members to take care of them. They will remain there until the situation in Port au Prince is resolved. Orphans from Port au Prince are in transit as we speak.

The school in Port au Prince was built on the border of the largest and poorest slum in Port au Prince, which (at the best of times) is the most crowded and desperate city in Haiti, the poorest country in our hemisphere. That school was built there because that is where it was most needed.

Now, Port au Prince, is in ruins and the situation is becoming desperate.

I have included a recent email from one of the school’s volunteers, Amber Munger, who is on the ground in Haiti. Amber is trying to coordinate long term relief efforts on the ground in Port au Prince. Amber works with Ananda Marga, the international organization of which Puerto Rico’s Fundacion NeoHumanista is a part.

Since her email came in, we have found a way to safely transfer funds from the Puerto Rico foundation into the hands of her organization in the streets of Port au Prince. We are sending people’s donations directly to the workers on the ground in Haiti. Over 95% of any money you donate will go directly to this organization’sw work on Haiti relief in 24 hours, to Amber and her “Ananda Marga” and Fundacion Neo-Humanista colleagues.

Those of you who know me personally and wish to do so can drop off money directly at my restaurant (Natural High Café in Aguadilla) which will be deposited in the bank account of Fundacion NeoHumanista. You can make checks payable to Fundacion NeoHumanista, or can deposit donations directly into their Western bank account number: #2204004133.

We will also be setting up a paypal donation page this weekend, so that you can make direct deposits into the Foundations Account. This webpage will also have the NPO certificates on file and you will be able to get a receipt.
Thank you for your time and concern. I would also like to thank those who donated money in the past, it was your donations that helped us build strong buildings that saved lives of Haitian children. You are my hero!

All the best,

Tom Spontelli

(Pictures of my fall trip are available at Flickr The Puerto Rican branch of this organization is called El Fundacion Neo-Huminista (The Neo Humanist Foundation) which is a secular charity organization dedicated to doing good works normally done by church groups. (Neo-Humanism: “Be good for goodness sake.”) Ananda Marga is an amazing international organization based out of India dedicated to the betterment of all living things through the practices of yoga, meditation, education and physical acts of charity.

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your powerful and affirming support.

Communications from the school and volunteers is very difficult. The most that we are able to get is a one or two minute phone call from the director of the School over a bad staticky connection before it is lost.

Here is the latest news (as far as we can make out from our last call): The school in Port au Prince (Bourdon) is now an emergency relief center and is located in next the worst slum in Port au Prince. This emergency center and its volunteers have served over 10,000 hot meals. There is also a doctor at the center providing emergency medical services. Unfortunately, as of this morning, their stockpiled food supply is running out.

We have had even more distressing news this evening. Their reserves of water will run out in the next day or so. There is an amazing amount of work being done here, but the well-prepared resources are running low. There are water resources in the area but purification equipment is needed. (I have heard that the stench of death from the collapsed buildings around the school is becoming very powerful and the danger to the groundwater increases daily.)

Cash donations are needed, but we also need volunteers to work the phones and send emails trying to get supplies and equipment to the School Emergency Relief Center. We have spent today contacting any organization with supplies on the ground to get them to the school to serve the most desperate slum in the city. If you have time to volunteer from you home, contact me and you can help us hunt down aid and supplies for the school. We have contacted all the major group bringing in supplies, and we are told, “we are told that the information will be passed on.” We need individuals to act as point persons working with each agencies making sure supplies are delivered. We also need volunteers to hunt down contact information for journalists and news producers on the ground in Haiti and get them to the school to shine a spotlight on where resources are needed. You can help hunt down and contact smaller charities that are raising money for Haiti Relief and channel those resources to this emergency disaster center. You can help us hound government leaders in the US and PR and get supplies to this location. There are many specific jobs you can do from your home that may save thousands of lives in the next few days.

This is doable and does work.

This is an amazing group volunteers in Haiti who are doing a phenomenal job of serving the neediest in the absolutely most desperate part of the poorest city in our hemisphere at its darkest hour. They need your help.

You can absolutely make a difference and save lives by volunteering your time or donating cash.

Contact me if you are good at making phone calls or surfing the web and emailing. We need your help.

Cash is also desperately needed to get equipment to help this center serve thousands of hurt and desperate people. Hilda Rojas, Director of “Fundacion NeoHumanista” in PR has found a way to safely transfer funds from the Puerto Rico NeoHumanist Foundation into the hands of Amber’s organization in the streets of Port au Prince. You can make checks payable to Fundacion NeoHumanista, or can deposit donations directly into their Western bank account number: #2204004133.

Here is the physical address of the school-turned-relief-center:

Ecole Ananda Marga

Rue Garnier,
Impasse Dumond,
Port au Prince, Haiti

phone 509-3734-7943

Please contact me if you can help.

All the best,
Tom Spontelli