Disaster in Haiti - How to Help & What Funeral Directors Should Know

Watching the news for the past few days it’s easy to get compassion fatigue seeing all of the videos of the suffering, devastation, and loss in Haiti. To say our minds can’t comprehend the situation is an understatement. Our sympathies and hearts go out to all those affected. There’s no doubt everyone wants to help, but how? The news channels are almost scaring people into not helping due to all of the scams that are already arising from this situation.

Here are some safe ways to make a donation for those who can help financially:

The American Red Cross. You can donate $10 by texting Haiti to 90999. The $10 charge will appear on your cell phone bill. Their website link is www.redcross.org, or click on the icon below. They are not accepting volunteers to travel to the county.

Doctors Without Borders. They are in dire need of money for medicine and medical supplies. They also need medically trained volunteers. www.doctorswithoutborders.com or click on the icon below.

Compassion International. Compassion has been working in Haiti for more than 40 years and is partnered with 230 churches helping more than 65,000 children and their families.

The Compassion website has provided a breakdown of where your donations will go:

You can provide immediate relief today. www.compassion.com or click on the picture below.

$35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.

$70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.

$105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.

$210 gift helps care for two families' needs.

$525 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.

$1,050 gift helps care for 10 families' needs.

$1,500 helps rebuild a home.

$2,100 helps supply 20 families with the basics for three weeks.

If you can’t help financially, please keep these families and those traveling to Haiti to help in your thoughts and prayers.

From a press release from the National Funeral Directors Association sent out this morning (1-14-10):

NFDA members interested in volunteering in Haiti should call the association at 800-228-6332 (262-789-1880). NFDA staff is collecting members’ contact information in order to keep interested parties abreast of ways they might be able to assist the federal government and funeral service professionals in Haiti, should their service prove necessary. If you contact NFDA, please indicate if you hold a valid passport and how long you are willing to serve, as well as an email address or cell phone number to assist in rapid communication. Members should not travel to the affected areas on their own as conditions are severe; participating in a coordinated effort will make for an effective response to the needs of the Haitian people.
In addition, funeral directors should not contact Haitian funeral directors about shipping bodies once communication is restored. Haitian funeral directors in the affected areas have their own struggles now, and cannot accept bodies at this time.