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This installment is basically a repeat of yesterday's special edition by Dallasdoc, focusing on the most highly rated organizations.  I'll also be taking the Wednesday AM installment and will focus on some smaller outfits and also some non-monetary ways to contribute for those of us who are running low on funds for the month.

I would also like to include an appeal here to anyone planning a Haiti related diary to include visible links to our community donation pages, the most recent installment of TexMex's ShelterBox series, and the most recent installment of this Dallasdoc series (or Norbrook's wiki version).  These diaries do not always make the Rec List and, by adding a link in your Haiti diary, you're making it easier for people unfamiliar with this community to quickly find other helpful information.

I mentioned in the comments yesterday that I was going to go visit the Portlight folks at their Atlanta warehouse.  I did, but there was only one person there and he wasn't comfortable answering questions or speaking for the organization.  No one will be there Monday, so it will not be until Tuesday morning that I'll be able to visit with them.  I'll include a spotlight in the Wednesday AM edition.  The only thing I learned yesterday, contrary to what has already been posted here, is that they ARE looking for good shoes--Even mismatched or single (for amputees).  Did you get a new pair of good quality shoes recently?  Did your dog put an end to one of them?  There is still a use for the other.

In a general sense, I understand that they are also looking for outdoor gear.  I should have more information Tuesday (look for my comments in betson08's Tuesday PM edition) about what they're most in need of, but I would think that liquid fuel stoves, especially of the duel-fuel variety, would be very highly valued.  These are easy to get there even on passenger jets as long as the fuel tank is empty and they can be run with gasoline siphoned from automobiles.  Between now and Tuesday, think about what you have lying around the house that might be of use.

Their address:

Portlight Strategies, Inc.
4900 Lewis Road
Stone Mountain GA 30083

Also, for locals, this was very easy to find even for someone like me who still gets lost here.  It's only about two miles off 285.  However, at time of this writing, there is no after hours donation receptacle available and the gate to the building closes at 5PM during the week.

What follows from this point, is basically a reprint of yesterday's special edition by Dallasdoc with only minor edits.  I think what Dallasdoc did with it yesterday merits another day of exposure.  For the complete up-to-date list, see Norbrook's wiki.  Also, thebluecrayon posted a standard version of this diary late last night with alphabetized links.

This is the 21st diary on the earthquake disaster in Haiti.  Previous diaries are linked below.  The purpose of this series is to keep resources visible and easily available for those wishing to donate to the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.


Charity Navigator is an organization that analyzes charity organizations and governmental aid programs to give donors information on their activities, how much of their costs go to actual aid.  Charity Navigator evaluates larger charities in terms of their organizational efficiency and organizational capacity.  From this analysis the issue an overall rating, which is one of the best ways to compare the various charities asking for your money.  Charity Navigator's page listing organizations helping in Haiti is one of the most valuable resources for determining where to give. In this diary we will review a few of the organizations that earn their four star rating.  I will include their overall rating and the percentage of their budget going to aid programs.

Before we start, it is worth sharing a couple of points from Charity Navigator's Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors.  It is well worth reviewing all ten, but these really struck home for me:

  1. Concentrate Your Giving

When it comes to financial investments, diversification is the key to reducing risk. The opposite is true for philanthropic investments. If you've really taken the time to identify a well-run charity that is engaged in a cause that you are passionate about, you should then feel confident in giving it a donation. Spreading your money among multiple organizations not only results in your mail box filling up with more appeals, it also diminishes the possibility of any of those groups bringing about substantive change as each charity is wasting a large percentage of your gift on fundraising and overhead expenses.

  1. Share Your Intentions And Make A Long-Term Commitment

Smart donors support their favorite charities for the long haul. Again, they see themselves as a partner in the charity's efforts to bring about change. They know that only with long-term, committed supporters can a charity be successful. And they don't hesitate to tell the charity of their giving plans so that the organization knows it can rely on the donor and the charity doesn't have to waste resources and harass the donor by sending numerous solicitations.

And now let's look at a few of the top charities.

Partners in Health (Rating 66.98, 94.8% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

Founded in 1987, Partners In Health's (PIH) mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Through long-term partnerships with our sister organizations, we bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need and work to alleviate the crushing economic and social burdens of poverty that exacerbate disease. PIH believes that health is a fundamental right, not a privilege. PIH works in Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Russia, USA, Malawi and Lesotho, and supports projects in Mexico and Guatemala.

Founded by the saintly Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners in Health builds an indigenous infrastructure of community clinics and hospitals, concentrating in rural areas of most need. They have been working in Haiti for over 20 years, and are desperate for funds, medical supplies and medical volunteers to support their efforts.  Being based in rural areas, many of their facilities escaped the total destruction suffered by the big hospitals in Port-au-Prince.


FINCA International (Rating 68.66, 86.6% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

Founded in 1984, FINCA International provides financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. We target the poorest of the working poor: those who have the least access to services such as loans, savings programs, and insurance. Our clients include women, who make up 70 percent of the world's poor; individuals unable to find work in the formal sector; families displaced by war and internal conflict; the rural poor; and those affected by chronic poverty. With more than 20 years' experience and over 725,000 clients on four continents, FINCA offers a proven solution to poverty.

FINCA helps poor clients around the world, mainly women, with small loans in the model of the Grameen Bank.  They are active throughout Haiti, and have a Haiti relief fund to aid Haitians begin to recover economically from this latest devastation visited upon their country.


MedShare International (Rating 69.75, 97.5% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

Founded in 1998, MedShare International's mission is to bridge the gap between surplus and need to improve health care and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. MedShare collects surplus medical supplies and used equipment from U.S. hospitals, manufacturers and distributors. We process these donated materials and make them available to underserved hospitals and clinics in two ways: direct shipments to international applicant institutions and supplying medical mission teams with commonly needed medical items.

MedShare has already shipped over 5000 boxes of medical supplies to Haiti, and its CEO is working with a team of 100 doctors at a hospital on the Haitian border.  It's an impressive organization and well worth a look.


International Relief Teams (Rating 64.82, 99.0% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

International Relief Teams (IRT) is an international relief organization dedicated to organizing volunteer teams to provide medical and non-medical assistance to the victims of disaster and profound poverty worldwide. Since its inception in 1988, IRT has provided $5.7 million in volunteer services and more than $136 million in medicines and supplies to families in desperate need in 52 countries worldwide. IRT specializes in medical training and education, surgical and clinical outreach, health promotion, disease prevention and disaster relief. During the past year, IRT deployed 36 teams, involving 157 medical and construction specialists. IRT provided nearly $26 million in supplies and services to thousands of families in need worldwide.

IRT has a team of four ER doctors and one nurse on the ground in Haiti now, and is working to expand their presence in the country.  It is also readying substantial medical supplies for transfer to Haiti, pending logistic arrangements.  You can donate to their Haiti program here.


Water Missions International (Rating 66.02, 85.2% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

Founded in 2001, Water Missions International (WMI) provides clean, safe water to people in developing countries and disaster areas through a variety of technologies. Our goal is to provide sustainable access to safe water so that no person should perish for want of safe drinking water. Water Missions International is able to develop low-maintenance, self-sustaining water treatment systems for communities around the world that provide safe drinking water, wastewater management and storm water control. Through our community development programs, disaster relief efforts, advocacy, education and custom engineering solutions, we have been able to bring hope and relief to more than 1.5 million people around the globe.

WMI is a relatively small, religious-based charity in South Carolina which delivers sustainable clean water systems and sanitation systems to poor communities around the world.  Their website says they have twelve units on the ground in Haiti now, and are assembling five per day to send.  Clean water is one of Haiti's most pressing needs, and if thirst touches your heart, consider donating at the link above.


Haitian Health Foundation (Rating 69.13, 91.3% spent on programs)

Mission statement:

The mission of the Haitian Health Foundation is to improve the health and well being of the poor, sick, and the infirm of the greater Jérémie area, with a focus on women and children. This is accomplished through: a secondary care outpatient clinic; a public health outreach program; nutritional rehabilitation services; safe motherhood services; community development programs; self-help programs which advance family & community self-sufficiency; responding to emergencies and crises with humanitarian relief; and programs to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise between Haitians and the international community.

Based in the far western town of Jeremie, Haitian Health Foundation is one of very many organizations that work on the ground in Haiti every day.  It is based far from Port-au-Prince, in a remote area which will not receive the greatest attention from big international aid agencies.  If you want your dollars to fall close to the ground and help one community, this is one of those organizations that could use your help.


These are merely a few of the over 50 four-star Haiti aid organizations listed on the Charity Navigator page.  Other excellent organizations, like Heifer Project International, Mercy Corps, and The Lambi Fund of Haiti earn an honorable three stars.  As Charity Navigator emphasizes, do your research and choose an organization worthy of your gift.  Once you do, please support them to the best of your ability.  The people of Haiti need our help for the long term, not just for this week.


There are, of course, other charities not rated by Charity Navigator.  Small charities do not make their list.  Portlight Strategies is a small charity ($50,000 annual budget) run by volunteers whose motivation is familiar:

It's a story about the fundamental goodness of the human spirit and the power of community...and the Internet as a tool to facilitate great works.

 Their purpose:

Portlight Strategies offers a unique way for you to help people in need help themselves...since 1997, we have provided medical equipment (such as wheel chairs, walkers, and crutches), ramp construction and minor home modifications, and post disaster relief free of charge to people with disabilities and others in need.

They were founded by people with disabilities to help those with disabilities and others in need.  They are working in their small way to provide water purification systems and other donated supplies to Haiti.  laderrick supplies their financial statement, showing that they use 92.7% of their expenses on programs. They're too small to earn Charity Navigator stars, but maybe not too small to earn a donation.

I am happy and humble to be one of the Kossacks who helped this community assemble one of the most exhaustive list of aid organizations working in Haiti, now placed in the dKosopedia wiki by the wonderful Norbrook.  Please visit that list, which has been updated here over the past ten days to reflect the input of our wonderful and humane community.  As the Shelterbox Diaries have shown in raising funds for over 1000 Haitians to have a place to stay, we are liberals who walk our talk about caring for our fellow human beings.  All of you make me prouder than I can say that I am one of you.  You are my brothers and sisters.

Past diaries in this series:

  1. Dallasdoc   2. cosmic debris   3. Norbrook    4. betson08  

  1. ALifeLessFrightening   6. swampus   7. Norbrook   8. Jimdotz    

  1. Dallasdoc   10. marabout40 Note: These last two diaries discuss ways to improve and/or focus our fundraising efforts as a community.

  1. AntKat   12. betson08   13. oke   14. parryander  

  1.  allie123   16.  betson08    17.Norbrook  18. Norbrook (again!)  19. big spoiled baby  20.  Dallasdoc


Sunday PM: Deep Harm

Monday AM: allie123

Monday PM: AntKat

Tuesday AM: ***open***

Tuesday PM: betson08

Wednesday AM: swampus

Wednesday PM: ***open***

If you would like to volunteer to contribute a diary to continue this series, please volunteer in the comments below. Norbrook has created a Google documents file with the source code for our usual introduction and the list of charities the community has developed.  Doing one of these diaries, thanks to Norbrook, is not nearly as demanding as it was early in the series.  Also, updates need to be made far less frequently.  You don't need to set aside huge chunks of time for it and it's easy to multi-task if you have other things to do, as long as you're able to check the comments every 30 minutes or so.

Originally posted to swampus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:34 AM PST.

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