Update on Relief in Haiti

Is Haiti Forgotten?

In an earlier Haiti earthquake update blog we featured a photo from award-winning photojournalist Allison Shelley who worked with Project Hope while in Haiti. When Allison returned to Haiti for her second time she wanted to bring something back that could help the people she’d met. Five months after the deadly earthquake that rocked Haiti the answer that came back:  tents. The Haitian people still needed a structure to call home.

Led by donors like you, the world responded to Haiti in its time of need. JustGive donors alone gave more than $4.7 million to nonprofits working to aid Haiti. Allison returned to Haiti with tents donated by friends and colleagues so a few more Haitian people would have a dry place to sleep, but with hurricane season threatening their progress, the work to truly rebuild Haiti is far from done.

Long after the majority of giving for Haiti occurred, JustGive donors still haven’t forgotten. They continue to donate money for Haiti. Our matching campaign has raised more than $26,000 to date, and you can help us continue to raise money for nonprofits working to reconstruct Haiti by giving now.

As the photos below that Allison was so kind as to share with our readers, the climb to reconstruct Haiti is an uphill battle, but the Haitian people persevere.

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Photo Credits: Allison Shelley (All Rights Reserved)

Rebuilding Haiti is ongoing

Rubble and collapsed buildings still dominate the Haitian landscape. An estimated 1.3 million people were left homeless by the January earthquake and hundreds of thousands of Haitians are still living in tent camps around Port-au-Prince. Three weeks into hurricane season, with tropical rains falling on a daily basis, 21 of those camps are “high risk” or likely to flood.

The Haitian government continues to look at innovative ways to rebuild their country. On June 17, they launched “Building Back Better Communities,” a global competition to create different housing types that government officials can study before commissioning them for destroyed neighborhoods. The competition, which will have multiple winners, is divided into two parts to attract the greatest variety of ideas.

Notables such as former US President Bill Clinton and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim recently created a $20M fund to help rebuild the Haitian economy. “We have to unleash the ideas, the energy, the creativity of your enterprises. This is a good first step,” Clinton said. “The focus of this fund is to help create jobs not only by helping small- and medium-size business to recover but to do better than they were doing before the earthquake.”

But even with the help of such innovative funds and competitions, the reality is that Haitians still need help from the ground up. Our matching campaign focuses on rebuilding Haiti, because, despite the outpouring of generosity that met the earthquake, our friends in the nonprofit sector told us that their biggest need is sustained support of their efforts in Haiti.

Visit us next week for an update on the impact of your donations to Haiti relief. We’ll focus on some of the work nonprofits are doing on the ground in Haiti.

An update on donations to help Haiti

I just learned some exciting news: JustGive donors have responded in strong number to support long-term rebuilding efforts in Haiti!

One month ago, we launched a new monthly gifts matching campaign to help our donors better support the nonprofits working to rebuild the services and infrastructure in Haiti. I’m proud to announce that we’ve already activated nearly $10,000 of donations and matching gifts from JustGive Board and Staff.

Since the devastating January 12 earthquake, our donors have contributed more than $4.7 million to help Haiti. That money will go a long way to provide relief for the country, and it paves the way for recovery efforts by groups like Project Hope that are just beginning to turn to the infrastructure in Haiti.

aboard the USNS Comfort off of the coast of Port au Prince, Haiti, Monday, February 20, 2010.
Photo: Allison Shelley

Follow Project Hope’s Blog to find out more about their work on the ground.

I’m particularly proud of the response we’ve received from 136 donors who responded to our call to support the long rebuilding process that lies ahead for Haiti. Their donations—both large and small—are so valuable to nonprofits on the ground that need continued support. It’s exactly this type of sustained support that is often difficult to secure once the initial wave of generosity begins to ebb.

There’s Still Time to Make Your Gifts Matter More

If you haven’t yet donated, there’s still time to have your monthly gift matched at 50 cents on the dollar (up to $500 per month per donor). Visit Haiti Relief and Rebuilding for information on the more than 75 charities you can support.

Our donors have given to 29 charities working to restore and rebuild Haiti. What if you’d like to help but don’t know which nonprofit to choose to or how to make the most long-term difference with your gift? Here are a few great resources that can help:

  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Five Principles for Smart Giving to Support Haiti’s Recovery.”, subscription required) offers excellent guidance.
  • Good Magazine’s Haiti Infographics show the human toll of the earthquake and detail what the country’s greatest needs are (created by Stephane Bao – www.good.is).
  • Two organizations, GreatNonprofits and GuideStar®, teamed up to create the Disaster Action Center which presents reviews of nonprofits working in Haiti.  “Now, you can read reviews about Haiti aid organizations written by volunteers and donors and make an informed decision,” says Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits.

Thank you to each one of you who has joined our campaign to rebuild Haiti! Your commitment and gifts will make a difference for their future. If you haven’t yet started a monthly gift for Haiti, join us. Act quickly before the remaining $22,000+ in matching funds run out and we’ll make your gift matter even more.  Whatever nonprofit you decide to help, your support is crucial to the long-term success of efforts to rebuild Haiti.

Tell a friend and make a difference today!