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Make donations that make a difference

So by now most everyone has heard about the tragedies in Haiti. An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale hit Haiti on January 12,  and the country is still suffering from aftershocks.
    According to The Red Cross, the earthquake is estimated to affect about three million Haitians. This already poverty-stricken nation now needs housing, search and rescue and even more food, water and medical supplies. America has made a great effort in donating to Haiti relief efforts sending millions of dollars. You don’t have to look far to find some place that wants to help.
     But beyond our responsibility to help this nation in need, we also have to be careful to who we donate. Make sure the people you are donating to are reliable. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for charitable organizations to only be charitable to themselves.
   Check sites like Charitynavigator.org to find out the track record for these organizations, and try not to give to charities just starting up. It is hard enough to get to Haiti and be around the violence and corrupt government. Now we need to give to those that already have a firm foundation. New comers may have the best intentions but not the means or connections. Look for organizations that were working with Haiti before the earthquake struck.
    Also, you can give right here at VSU to reputable organizations. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages is collecting money for the Red Cross and the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice departments are collecting food, water and other supplies for Second Harvest and The Army National Guard.
     Although supplies are greatly appreciated and needed, according to The Red Cross, the most useful thing to give is money. Supplies can cost more to be shipped over to Haiti and have more chance of being lost or damaged in delivery. Many roads are closed and damaged beyond immediate repair. Plus, many organizations are trying to buy as much as they can locally to make things easier on everyone.
     The outpouring of support from America has been phenomenal, but it is good to know who you are giving to. You wouldn’t want your donation to go into the wrong pocket.

This editorial was written by Ashley George (ajgeorge@valdosta.edu) and it expresses the opinion of the entire editorial staff.

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