Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Relief Efforts: Congressman Harry Mitchell

From an email to his constituents -

The news reports of the destruction and devastation that continue to come out of Haiti have been sobering. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the victims of this catastrophe that has toppled homes and building, split up families, left countless injured and taken untold lives.

Many people have asked me how they can help with the recovery efforts. I am proud that so many people in our community have recgonized the need to pull together and reach out in critical times like these.

There are a variety of ways Arizonans can provide assistance. Working together, we can help aid the recovery and rebuilding of Haiti. If you want to help take part in the earthquake relief effort I encourage you to visit the State Department's website,, or InterAction at to find a list of verified and secure charities and organizations to learn what steps you can take. While Many agencies are accepting donations for the relief effort, InterAction’s website also outlines other ways to help the relief effort, such as volunteering, as well as what material donations are currently being accepted.

The State Department is also encouraging individuals wishing to help with relief efforts to use their mobile phones to text “Haiti” to 90999, which will send a $10 donation to the Red Cross, charged to the mobile phone user’s bill. Additionally, the American Red Cross is currently sending money, supplies and staff to Haiti to support earthquake relief efforts. The Red Cross is accepting donations to the International Response Fund at or at 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In Arizona, local businesses are doing their part. The Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that the Scottsdale Jean Company is collecting non-perishable food donations at its store and will match every donation collected. The store is located at14747 N. Northsight Blvd. Suite 106 in Scottsdale. The Phoenix Mercury, along with Carl Hayden High School, are also holding a canned food drive at the US Airways Center.

It is also important to beware of potential fraud from people looking to take advantage of your generosity. Forbes Magazine recommends that when donating, you:

--Avoid charities you've never heard of.
--Ignore unsolicited e-mail solicitation.
--Go to the charity, not the other way around.
--Ignore telemarketers.
--Do not send money to a foreign bank account.
--Stick to established brand names, such those listed on the State Department’s website,
--Make sure the charity applies your donation to the specific cause.
--Do your own due diligence and research the charity.

The State Department has also set up the following phone number for missing U.S. citizen family members, 1-888-407-4747 and asks for you continued patience, as the line has been experiencing a high volume of calls.

For up to date information about the relief efforts visit:



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