Disaster in Haiti

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Our thoughts go out to the people of Haiti, Chicagoans, UChicagoans and all those around the world impacted by the disaster. Chicago was founded by Haitian Jean Baptiste Point du Sable; in many ways we owe our existence in this location to Haiti.  Chicago's Haitian-American community numbers in the tens of thousands.

  • The effort of UChicago for Haiti raised more than $10,000! Thank you to all who donated and volunteered to make this possible. Thanks to the UCMC for matching the more than $5,000 raised by the effort!
  • Students Unite to Provide Relief for Haiti

  • University of Chicago medical team in place for Haitian relief effort.

  • 2/12/10Traffic Light Party for the benefit of the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund - The International House Residents' Council will hold the largest Valentine's Day party on campus- the Traffic Light Party on February 12 - for the benefit of the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund.  We welcome your in-kind donations at the International House at 1414 E. 59th Street. For more information, please contact George Vassilev at georgevass@uchicago.edu  

  • Tues, Feb 9, 6 pm, 5710 W. Woodlawn - Teach-in on Haiti - CLAS, CSRPC, and OMSA Host a Teach-in on Haiti. Featuring a panel of UChicago faculty, students, representatives from the Haitian Community and the UofC Medical Center. 

  • Friday, Feb 5, 1:30 - 6 pm - "The Many Faces of Haiti" Collage. Reynolds Club Marketplace. This week come out on Friday to make a collage of pictures of Haiti and rejuvenate your commitment to standing up for Haiti!! The collage will be a 40" x 60" impression of Haiti before and after the earthquake.The pictures and everything will be on the table, just bring your jolly self and your two friends and put your impression on "The Many Faces of Haiti."  The collage will be housed in Reynolds for a few days as testimony to our hard work and will be permanently housed in one of the hallways of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA).

  • Local French and Creole Translators Needed for Haiti Relief Effort  American Red Cross needs French and/or Creole translators to support shelter operations for Haiti evacuees. January 28 - February 20. Shifts Daily: Evening Shift:  6:30pm - midnight; Overnight Shift:  midnight - 6am; Daytime:  anytime between 6am - 6pm. Shelter location near O'Hare Airport. Email cooperm@usa.redcross.org with name, email, cell phone & desired shift (date & time)


  • Hot chocolate ($2) and tea ($1) are being Tuesday to Friday, Cobb 10am to 2pm, Reynolds Club 9 to 5pm and Saturday at the International Food Festival. Organized by the African and Caribbean Students Association (ACSA).  All proceeds go to victims in Haiti.
  • Letter to Members of the University Community from Vice President Kim Goff-Crews
  • Fundraising by RSOs has raised more than $1,300 for relief. You still have an opportunity to give cash donations on Tuesday in the Reynolds Club Marketplace from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • A special space has been set aside in Rockefeller Chapel for those who want to pray or grieve or leave remembrances of those affected by the earthquake. Members of the University's many faith communities will be remember the people of Haiti at their regular gatherings, and special prayers will be included in Sunday morning worship at Rockefeller at 11 a.m. 
  • An interfaith act of remembrance will take place at Rockefeller Chapel on Tuesday January 19 at 5 p.m., a week after the time of the earthquake.
  • Sun-Times list of local benefits/fundraisers for Haiti Relief
  • If you have any new relief efforts, observances at the University, questions or suggestions about the University's response to the disaster in Haiti, please email ucsc@uchicago.edu.
You can make donations to the Red Cross and Partners in Health at tables in the Reynolds Club Marketplace.
The tables are organized by RSOs Beats and Pieces, African Caribbean Students Association, and Puerto Rican Students Association.  Tables will be staffed Thursday, January 14 through Tuesday, January 19. 

From the White House's webpage:
"You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information."

International Relief Organizations:

Chicago Area Organizations/News
What about donations of food, clothing, or other supplies?
While usually done with the best intentions, in-kind donations can often be more complicated for organizations both where you are and where you want to send the items. From the CIDI "Guidelines for Donating":
  • "Financial contributions allow professional relief organizations to purchase exactly what is most urgently needed by disaster victims and to pay for the transportation necessary to distribute those supplies. Unlike in-kind donations, cash donations entail no transportation cost. In addition, cash donations allow relief supplies to be purchased at locations as near to the disaster site as possible. Supplies, particularly food, can almost always be purchased locally - even in famine situations. This approach has the triple advantage of stimulating local economies (providing employment, generating cash flow), ensuring that supplies arrive as quickly as possible and reducing transport and storage costs. Cash contributions to established legitimate relief agencies are always considerably more beneficial than the donation of commodities."
We will update this post as more information becomes available.


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Wyclef Jean runs a grassroots, trustworthy and well-organized support organization that is working right now in Haiti. You can donate by texting "Yele" to 501501 or going to: http://www.yele.org/


I think UNICEF/US will be a great organization to make donationsa as 100% of the contribution goes to children of Haiti.

JSF said:

Do not donate clothing for relief efforts. Cash and medical supplies are what is really needed. Please read the following article.


U of C SROs taking clothing donations would be better off holding a clothing RESALE and donating the money to Unicef or Doctor's without Borders or the American Red Cross.

David Hays said:

Thanks to all those who have left helpful comments.

For V. Natarajan - UNICEF is definitely another good organization. If you have a link, please share it.

For JSF - Thanks for the clear, important advice. I have advised students I'm working with that monetary donations will be a better avenue unless they know the distribution chain from top to bottom and are working with an established charity. They've been tabling for monetary, not in-kind donations (see clarified update above).

As is noted in the quotation at the bottom of the post: "Cash contributions to established legitimate relief agencies are always considerably more beneficial than the donation of commodities."

Thanks to all, David Hays, University Community Service Center and Chicago Studies Program

Anonymous said:

Hello Friends,

As you may know, I am a Haitian-American with family members who are
suffering through the devastation that is happening in Haiti as a result of
Tuesday's earthquake and the aftershocks that continue to ravage the
country. My family has heard from three of our relatives and have found that
they are in fact alive. There are still others that we are waiting to hear

In an effort to do something for the people of Haiti, I spent yesterday
volunteering with the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti. They are organizing
an effort in the Chicagoland area to collect monetary donations, medical,
hygiene and water purification supplies to send to the country. Delta
airlines has agreed to send cargo planes with the donated supplies as soon
as they are able to safely land planes in the country. Please drop off any
donations to the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti located at 1227 Dodge
Avenue, Evanston IL 60202.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, you may do so on their
website, www.haitiancongress.org, and the
funds will go towards their Haitian Crisis Relief Fund. (To see the press
release issued yesterday by the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, please
see below.)

Please note: The Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti is not able to accept
donations of food, certain clothing, or water at this time due to storage

Any amount or item that you are able to give would be much appreciated.
Please feel free to forward this message to others who are interested in
helping Haiti through this disaster. If you have any questions or concerns
about the relief efforts, please feel free to contact the Haitian Congress
or me.

Thank you for your time and for any support you provide.

Take care,

Cindy L. Lys
Academic Advisor, University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program
Carleton Posse Alumni, Class of 2007
Young Chicago Authors Alumni, Class of 2003
Chicago Public Schools Alumni, Class of 2003
(p) 773.225.9167
(f) 773.834.3764

Anonymous said:


In an attempt to consolidate the efforts of student organizations concerned with supporting relief efforts in Haiti, UChicago for Haiti was formed. This group incorporates the efforts of Beats & Pieces, ACSA, PRSA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, F. I.E.R.C.E, OBS, PAECE and a number of independent students from both graduate and undergraduate divisions. The primary objective of UChicago for Haiti is to provide opportunities for the campus community to support long-term relief efforts to the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We believe that through collaboration, we can effectively share resources, manpower and conduct joint advertizing campaigns for all events on campus. We hope that through these events our organization will promote awareness of Haitians’ plight and the need to support members of our UChicago community who are most affected by this tragedy.

We hope to use a series of events, fundraising drives and arts programs to collect monetary donations, clothing, medical supplies, food and water. UChicago for Haiti will co-ordinate a massive campus wide network of collection sites to provide opportunities for all members of the University community and the surrounding neighborhoods to donate items to support relief efforts. We hope to begin this project on Friday January 22, 2010. Groups have already agreed to man collection posts and be responsible for the timely transportation and storage of items. There will also be collection posts during many cultural events on campus.

We welcome further collaboration with any other interested party and support from the University administration. For further information, please feel free to contact Adama Wiltshire (adama@uchicago.edu / 773-318-0416) or Judith Kituku ( kituku@uchicago.edu).

Anonymous said:


Thank you for collecting information. Here is a link to the Clinton - Bush Haiti fund in case you'd like to add it to the site.



Mai Vukcevich
Assistant Director
Center for Disciplinary Innovation &
Franke Institute for the Humanities
JRL S102
ph. 773-702-8274
fax. 773-702-0775
email. mav@uchicago.edu

Juliet Gentzkow said:

Partners in Health is a remarkable organization, founded by Paul Farmer, now working with President Clinton. For more than 25 years, it has trained Haitian medical workers and established several hospitals, resulting in a strong team already on the ground. They are treating people in the countryside, where their hospitals are and have brought equipment/supplies in to Port au Prince and are helping coordinate the medical effort there. One may quickly learn more from their site. They work closely with Doctors without Borders.

Juliet Gentzkow
SSA alumna

I'm glad that the media is covering all the diasters of the world to make people aware of the needs of many people of Haiti and the need of support any way. I'm glad that people are stepping up and giving a hand to another human being. It is sad that it took a natural diaster to get people pour their hearts and money to country of Haiti. Where were these people 6 months ago or even a year ago to help the people of Haiti and i hope it will continue after the media goes away from this natural diaster.

Plumbers said:

I think that with the unemployment the way it is, it would be more practical to send out a whole bunch of people who can help get this place sorted out, plumbers, electricians and construction workers.

They are in a mass right now, use them and give them a little more experience of how things work in a different country, and stop thinking that throwing money will resolve all Haiti's issues, when it clearly wont.

Adama Wiltshire said:

Hello Everyone,

In 17 days the rainy season will begin in Haiti and people will be forced to sleep in pools of sewer infested water. Diseases will spread among people who are already underfed and have limited access to health care.


If you know anyone who has a good tent, or if you would like to sponsor the purchase of a tent, please contact me asap. (adama@uchicago.edu / 773-318-0416).

Please help if you can.

Thank you

Adama K. Wiltshire
Member of UChicago for Haiti

HAP said:

Money is flowing and - both time and money is being wasted already.

There are 2 petition sites:



and a Haiti Accountability Project site: www.haitiaccountability.org

Did you see that Wyclef is running for president? Think he stands a chance?

locksmiths said:

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It is sad that it took a natural diaster to get people pour their hearts and money to country of Haiti. Where were these people 6 months ago or even a year ago to help the people of Haiti and i hope it will continue after the media goes away from this natural diaster.

I had spent a good deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you’re the only one that ever did that.

Plundr said:

That’s a very good point there. I made a search on the topic and found many people will agree with your article.

Former President Bill Clinton has visited the Haitian nation and has fought for more support. They all need the help they can get. I have volunteered for a local org that assists in the effort to rebuild the homes of these unfortunate people. Do your share, if you can.

That's a large sum of money, well done! Good to see that everybody is getting involved and we do our best to share that is of little value to us. We could all spare a few dollars.

Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really know what you're speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my web site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate contract between us

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