published Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Donations mount for Haiti relief

  • photo
    Staff photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press A wooden bell brought back to America by a teacher at the Bright School became the inspiration for a personalized fundraising effort for Haiti. All 360 students applied their fingerprints to personalize bells before they were to be sold for $5 each.
Audio clip

Kimberly George

As the death toll increases in earthquake-devastated Haiti, so does the amount of donations headed there, local agencies report.

"We've been inundated with people walking in with donations," said Claudia Moore, director of marketing for the American Red Cross Greater Chattanooga Area Chapter. "We had a huge stack of mail on Monday that we had to bring somebody to help us process and enter those donations."

She said local Red Cross officials expect to raise between $100,000 and $200,000, based on activity workers have seen so far.

Unum announced it is donating up to $200,000 and Bi-Lo Charities launched a donation program in which shoppers can donate to the Red Cross to help those in Haiti. Bi-Lo, in turn, will match customer donations up to $25,000.

Donations are coming in regularly at the headquarters of AMG International in Chattanooga, said Roger Thomas, coordinator of outreach projects and sponsorship programs at the evangelical mission and relief organization.

"Gifts are coming in at a rate of 20 a day just for Haiti, and they range anywhere from $5 to one for $5,000 from one of our regular donors," Mr. Thomas said.

His church, Signal Mountain Bible Church, collected a significant amount for Haiti relief effort last Sunday, he said, and it will hold a walk and race on Feb. 6 that also will generate proceeds for Haiti.

Locally, the Salvation Army has received more than $9,000 in checks alone, said Kimberly George, director of marketing and development for the local Salvation Army.

"We've seen an amazing response," she said. "There's been an outpouring of support from Chattanoogans as well as just Americans overall."

HELPING THE HELPERS

Churches, organizations, schools and other groups throughout the region are helping raise money, many times to distribute to larger agencies.

A wooden bell carved with the Haitian proverb "No one listens to the cry of the poor or the sound of a wooden bell" inspired children and staff members at the Bright School to decorate 500 small bells to help with the Haiti relief effort.

On Tuesday morning, the children decorated the bells with words such as "I listen," "I care," "I hear," and "I help" with paint and markers of different colors. The bells will be sold for $5 and the proceeds will benefit the Chattanooga-based Children's Nutrition Program in Haiti, whose headquarters in Leogane were destroyed.

"They see images in the media, and it's our job as adults to help them process what they are seeing and help them understand that, even if they are far away, they can do little things that can make a difference and help people," said Kim Brown, director of marketing and community relations for the private school.

The Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga is collecting blankets, canned goods and clothes to give to the Salvation Army by Friday, said Bassam Issa, a member leading the collection.

The society also will give a check for more than $1,000 to a relief organization, but he said they still haven't decided which one.

Slideshow: Villa Olimpica church in Santiago, Chile after the earthquake

Blog: Winchester couple helping quake victims sends dispatch

Times Free Press journalist returns from Haiti, speaks with Channel 3

Slide Show: The Faces of Haiti

Slide Show: Haiti - January 22

Slide Show: Haiti - January 20

Slide Show: Haiti - January 20

Slide Show: Haiti - January 19

Slide Show: Haiti Refugees

Haiti Earthquake page

PDF: Email Account

Article: Donations mount for Haiti relief

Article: Local medical team at work in Haiti

Blog: Journalist's personal diary from quake scene

Article: UT doctor treating Haitian quake victims

Article: Prayers offered for devastated country

Slideshow: Haiti Refugees

Flash presentation: Recent high-resolution satellite image of Port-au-Prince

Article: U.S. official: Violence in Haiti hindering aid work

Article: Chattanoogans recount horror tales from Haiti

Article: Quake ignores class divisions of a poor land

Article: Haitians search desperately for missing relatives

Article: Haitian doctor takes 100 patients into his home

Article: As aid pours in, haiti struggles to distribute it

Article: Haitians hold out hope for relatives

Article: Haitians in country illegally can stay for a while

Article: U.S. could take larger security role in Haiti

Article: Enormous Haiti quake toll

Editorial Cartoon: Haiti

Article: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton asked for Haiti help

Article:Chattanooga: Haiti needs worldwide effort, ambassador says

ABOUT HAITI

* Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

* About 54 percent of its more than 9 million residents live in abject poverty.

* Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

* The population is 95 percent black and 80 percent Roman Catholic.

* French and Creole are the official languages.

* About half the population practices voodoo.

* The nation has four airports with paved runways and is favored by Columbian drug dealers for routing cocaine shipments, in part because of widespread corruption.

Source: CIA World Factbook

GET INVOLVED

Several local organizations are accepting donations or asking for volunteers to help with the relief effort:

*New Salem Baptist Church in Soddy Daisy, Tenn. is accepting donations of medical supplies through Saturday to be sent to a medical clinic operated by Global Outreach Haiti in the village of TiTanyen, 15 miles north of Port-au-Prince. The list of items needed include: bandages and surgical tape of all types; antibiotic creams; Sulfadene or Silvadene burn cremes; supplies to assist open reduction of broken bones; surgical instruments of any type; slings; ace bandages; IV fluids; IV supplies (needles, tubing, etc); non-absorbent and absorbent sutures 3/0 and 4/0; gloves (sterile and non-sterile); splints; casting materials; portable x-ray machine (digital if possible); surgical lights, headlights, etc.; linens, blankets; disposable sheets, pads, etc. For more information, please contact Rev. Alan Rogers at New Salem Baptist Church, 423-842-3078.

* Signal Mountain Bible Church, 4872 Shackleford Ridge Road, Signal Mountain will hold a 1-mile walk and 5k run at 9 a.m. Saturday to raise money for Haiti. Race materials and late registration will be from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. at the front of the church. Entry forms are available at www.smbible.com or at the church. Entry must be postmarked no later than Sunday for pre-registration. Entry fee is $15.

*On Feb. 12, there will be a container at the SCORE office on Ringgold Rd to collect donations of canned goods, clothing, medicines, and other items to ship to Haiti. It will be sent directly to Haiti by Fed Ex. Anyone wishing to collect items to send to Haiti please take them to SCORE international, 5512 Ringgold Road, East Ridge, TN 37412 on Feb. 12. Items needed: Canned food, clothes (summer clothes for children), medicines and medical supplies, water, generators, personal hygiene items and school supplies.

* Haiti Gospel Mission, a faith-based organization that does education and medical missionary work in Haiti, www.haitigospelmission.org.

* The Greater Chattanooga Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is accepting contributions to the organization’s Disaster Relief Fund that will go to Haiti relief efforts. Donate online at www.chattanoogaredcross.org/donate or send them to the local Red Cross chapter office at 801 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37403.

* Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti, call 495-1122 or visit http://cnphaiti.org

* Score International, call 423-894-7111 or visit https://scoreinternational.org/give. Specify Help Haitians Rapid Response.

* American Haitian Foundation, checks can be mailed to: 3602 Anderson Pike, Signal Mountain, TN 37377 or visit www.americanhaitianfoundation.org.

* The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and postal mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728; or donors can text the word “HAITI” to 52000 to automatically give $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts. Note that the money will go directly to the Salvation Army's World Service Office.

*The Center for Rural Development of Milot Foundation (CRUDEM) is accepting support for the Hospital Sacre Coeur, a hospital in the north of Haiti. The foundation, based in Ludlow, Maine, was set up in 1968. For more information or to donate, go to www.crudem.org.

* The Samaritan Center will host a matching gift campaign for the disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Since Hurricane Katrina, that account has grown to $8,000, and the Samaritan Center is going to use that money to match any gifts that come in for Haitian disaster relief. Visit www.thesamaritancenter.net or call 423-238-7777.

* Habitat for Humanity International is gathering funds for rebuilding efforts. Area residents can give through www.habitat.org or send donations to: HFH of Greater Chattanooga, 1201 E. Main St., Chattanooga, TN 37408. Please note that the donations are for Haiti.

* Bright School students will decorate wooden bells which will be sold for $5, proceeds going to the Children’s Nutrition Program in Haiti.

* Vision Ministries of Chattanooga, a local church with a multicultural congregation, including Haitians, is accepting donations to coordinate with other organizations. To donate, visit www.visionministries.webs.com or call 423-475-5563.

* Bi-Lo Charities launched a donation program where shoppers can donate to the American Red Cross to assist those in Haiti and, in turn, they will match customer donations up to $25,000. The in-store donation program continues through Feb. 9 at stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

* AMG International, visit www.amginternational.org

* The Jean Cadet Restavek Foundation provides direct relief and education opportunities for children in restavek (children who work as household servants because their parents can’t afford to support them). It also funds advocates for these children throughout Haiti and raises global awareness of the system, which takes advantage of the poorest of the poor. Donations can be made at www.restavekfreedom.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.start&destination=G or individuals can help raise relief funds by forming a group and inviting friends and family to help: www.restavekfreedom.org/event/restavek.

* Rotary International has set up a fund that anyone can donate to. The fund will be directed by Rotarians who will work with local Rotary Clubs and districts, as well as emergency relief agencies, to meet the most pressing needs of people in affected areas. Anyone can make a $5 donation by texting ROTARY to 90999. Or visit www.Rotary.org to make larger donations.

* Local artist Larry Swetman will donate all the proceeds from his art sales to the relief effort in Haiti. Visit his Web site at www.larryswetman.com.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers may travel to Haiti with Score International for $1,200, which includes airfare, meals, lodging, supplies and ground transportation overseas.

Dates include: Jan. 30-Feb. 4 and every Saturday through Thursday for the following six weeks.

For more information, contact Trey Bailey at trey@scoreinternational.org or call 423-894-7111.

TIPS FOR CHARITABLE GIVING:

* Research charities before you contribute. Use sources such as the Better Business Bureau (www.give.org) and GuideStar (www.guidestar.org).

* Be wary of telephone solicitors asking for contributions.

* Never give your credit card, debit card or bank account information to a telephone solicitor.

* If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax deductible 501(c)3 status with the IRS.

* Watch out for organizations that use questionable techniques such as sending unordered merchandise or invoices after you have turned them down for a donation.

* Citizens can file a complaint against a charitable organization at www.sos.ga.gov/securities.

* For more information, call Georgia Secretary of State’s Securities and Business Regulation Division at 404-656-3920.

Source: Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

DOCUMENT OFFERS

* The Department of Homeland Security set up a system to document all offers of aid for Haiti from local and state governments so they can be properly utilized as the disaster response effort progresses.

* Civic groups, businesses and individuals are being asked to submit their offers of donations to the Center for International Disaster Information at www.cidi.org.

"Our foundation of Islam is to help every brother that needs help, regardless of the religion," he said. "Everyone was very saddened by this. Every time a natural disaster happens, people imagine how they would feel if it had happened to them."

He said the society will continue the collection of items and money since the need in Haiti is continuous.

At Tennessee Temple University, a group of 13 students has set a goal of raising $20,000 so the Mission of Hope in Haiti can buy containers with supplies including water, food and shelter.

"I lead the worship band and we started a service, called Project Freedom, which is a service where students get together, worship and pray," said Andrew Perry, a third-year student from Atlanta.

"Our first service was last Tuesday, when everything in Haiti happened, so God has put it on our hearts to try to raise some money to send down there," Mr. Perry said.

So far, the group has raised $1,100 in donations, including from members' own pockets, and it is figuring out how to raise the rest, he said.

EDITOR'S NOTE

Times Free Press staff photographer Allison Kwesell is in Haiti with locally based relief groups. She will be sending photos and dispatches sharing her observations and writing about what she sees this week. See the paper this week and on Sunday.

ABOUT HAITI

* Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

* About 54 percent of its more than 9 million residents live in abject poverty.

* Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

* The population is 95 percent black and 80 percent Roman Catholic.

* French and Creole are the official languages.

* About half the population practices voodoo.

* The nation has four airports with paved runways and is favored by Colombian drug dealers for routing cocaine shipments, in part because of widespread corruption.

Source: CIA World Factbook

CLOSER TO HOME

The U.S. Bureau of Census estimates there are 19,642 Georgia residents and 1,820 persons living in Tennessee with Haitian ancestry.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers may travel to Haiti with Score International for $1,200, which includes airfare, meals, lodging, supplies and ground transportation overseas.

Dates include: Jan. 30-Feb. 4 and every Saturday through Thursday for the following six weeks.

For more information, contact Trey Bailey at trey@scoreinternational.org or call 423-894-7111.

TIPS FOR CHARITABLE GIVING

* Research charities before you contribute. Use sources such as the Better Business Bureau (www.give.org) and GuideStar (www.guidestar.org).

* Be wary of telephone solicitors asking for contributions.

* Never give your credit card, debit card or bank account information to a telephone solicitor.

* If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax deductible 501(c)3 status with the IRS.

* Watch out for organizations that use questionable techniques such as sending unordered merchandise or invoices after you have turned them down for a donation.

* Citizens can file a complaint against a charitable organization at www.sos.ga.gov/securities.

* For more information, call Georgia Secretary of State's Securities and Business Regulation Division at 404-656-3920.

Source: Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

DOCUMENT OFFERS

* The Department of Homeland Security set up a system to document all offers of aid for Haiti from local and state governments so they can be properly utilized as the disaster response effort progresses.

* Civic groups, businesses and individuals are being asked to submit their offers of donations to the Center for International Disaster Information at www.cidi.org.

about Perla Trevizo...

Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
enufisenuf said...
  • The population is 95 percent black and 80 percent Roman Catholic.
  • About half the population practices voodoo.
  • The nation has four airports with paved runways and is favored by Colombian drug dealers for routing cocaine shipments, in part because of widespread corruption.

Leave em alone, the money is better spent here in the US for our own citizens who have lost their jobs, homes and livings.

January 20, 2010 at 8:24 p.m.
olhoazul2 said...

Whoever this reader is and from whatever cousin-kissing rock he happened to have crawled out from under to write this hateful comment, someone needs to educate him soonest on with what we are presently dealing. If we don't take care of this horrific situation immediately, his above stated self interests will quickly be endangered via an onslaught of desperate Haitian immigrants washing up on Florida's shores.

January 22, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
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