Grocery shoppers contribute to Haiti relief - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Grocery shoppers contribute to Haiti relief

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Thousands of Georgians have donated millions of dollars to help Haiti, despite their own financial struggles.  The Haiti tragedy is proving that, in times of crisis, you are willing to open your hearts and your wallets.

Every shopper walking through the door at Publix will be given the opportunity to donate to Haiti.  

I purchased a sandwich here for lunch. As I was leaving I simply told the cashier I wanted to give five bucks to Haiti,she added it to my total, and I was able to pay with my debit card, no hassle at all.

It didn't take long to find a couple of generous Publix shoppers who gladly contributed.

"We had no problem doing that," said Audrey Deshazer. She and Nikki Reid have seen the disturbing sights from Port-au-Prince on TV.  "It's sad and depressing. It's hard to look at," said Reid.

So they wanted to help. After they purchased their subs and chips, they each gave a dollar. "A dollar to us is nothing, but to them it's a lot," said Deshazer.

In just four days shoppers and employees of Publix Super Markets donated $2.3 million to the Haiti Relief and Development Fund. And that fund is steadily growing as customers see the signs and offer to help.

"We've got signs at every register and just let the cashier know how much you want to donate and they'll punch in a special code and you can put it right into their order," said Publix Employee Jordan Brado.

Simple and fast whether you hand over cash or swipe a card. "I'm actually very surprised with the way the economy is, for people to be so generous," said Brado.

Wireless companies are making it easy to give, too. According to Verizon Wireless, on Saturday Georgia customers of all carriers had already raised more than half a million dollars for the American Red Cross efforts to help by simply texting: HAITI to 90999.

"Any little bit helps. I know how hard it is now so if they lost all of their things, anything will help," said  Brado.

Heavy hearts for a struggling country where every dollar and every donation,truly does count. The money raised at Publix will be given to the American Red Cross, and the grocery store won't stop the fundraiser until people stop giving.

If you prefer to give using your cell phone, you'll receive a confirmation like this one on my phone saying $10 will be charged to your phone bill.

And remember to save the receipts and confirmations so you can use them as tax deductions.  Verizon Wireless representatives tell us they already transmitted about $3 million to Haiti relief. As of Sunday, U.S. Wireless customers had already pledged more than $19 million through text messaging.

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