From Kristin Riggs, Executive Director of the Georgia Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red Cross
Thomasville, GA - We are getting quite a few calls and e-mail inquiries asking us what they can do to help the people in Haiti. The following is guidance I have gotten from NHQ about what we are doing and why we're doing it.
We are not accepting in kind donations. We do not have the warehouses to store the items people try to bring us, and the shipping costs are outrageous, and would not be a good use of donor dollars.
People have been calling saying they want to go to Haiti to help. They may be ex-military, they may be specialized in search and rescue efforts for their particular jobs, etc. The American Red Cross has sent 40-50 specialists to Haiti for specific missions.
They are not requesting more volunteers at this time, but we have more specialists who are specifically trained in international disaster relief on standby waiting to be deployed if called to do so.
They must have the training and some experience already. If they are interested in volunteering with the Red Cross and want to get training for future events, have them contact the chapter and I will forward their information to Robbie King.
The best way to help in the Haiti relief efforts is to donate financially. There are four ways to do so:
1) Bring/send money to the local chapter to be forwarded to NHQ for the International Relief Fund.
2) Text the word "Haiti" to 90999. A $10 donation will be made and will show up on their next cell phone bill.
3) Go to www.redcross.org to donate online to the International Relief Fund.
4) Call 1-800-7REDCROSS to donate by phone.
As of this morning, the American Red Cross has received $10 million for the Haiti relief efforts. A really good video that is full of info on what we are doing in Haiti is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs3uhophuPA&feature=channel.
Please take the six minutes it takes to watch this video. It gives really good insight into the logistics from our side of all of this.