I’ve heard several people voice concerns about not knowing which charities to trust to get their money to Haiti. One friend said she had been scammed by an organization she heard about in a PBS story. I checked both charitywatch.org and charitynavigator.org which rate charities for their efficiency in getting the most of the donations to the projects soonest. They give high ratings to the religious and denominational relief agencies such as Catholic, Lutheran, United Methodist, Episcopal etc, several independent Christian organizations like World Vision and Save the Children and Church World Service, and to several non-religious affiliated organizations like Doctors Without Borders and American Red Cross. Some relief agencies specialize in immediate emergency aid to save lives: Red Cross, Salvation Army. Some agencies specialize in long term rehabilitation after those have left a disaster area: denominational relief organizations are in this category. They all have years of established services there. Haiti, of course, desperately needs both kinds of aid. Churches have taken special offerings this past Sunday for the agencies they use. My church received $1120 on Sunday Jan. 17 which will go right away to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Aktion Club raised $100 which will go through Kiwanis to UNICEF. So send it along to church or one of the other organizations listed on charitywatch.org or charitynavigator.org and it will get there as soon as safety allows.

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