On January 12th, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the western coast of Haiti. Buildings all over the Haitian capital of Port au Prince collapsed, killing thousands and trapping thousands more.
It’s estimated that three million people have been affected by the disaster, and more than 200,000 people have been left homeless. Chaos descended upon the city, as survivors desperately searched for food, water and shelter amid the rubble.
The response of hundreds of local Haitian Red Cross volunteers was immediate. The International Red Cross Movement has subsequently mobilized to launch their largest ever emergency relief and recovery operation in one country.
Decades of experience has proven the best way to get the right materials as quickly as possible to those affected is through financial donations. Red Cross personnel can acquire exactly the materials needed most, ensure it’s appropriate for the climate, culture and other conditions, and acquire the goods from suppliers as close to the scene as possible. This saves time and cuts the cost of transport, and ultimately does the most good with financial donations.
As such, the Canadian Red Cross has been asking the public to support this response with financial donations. Your support has already allowed the Red Cross to provide over 2,600 metric tonnes of relief items to Haiti; provide relief items such as blankets, kitchen tools, tarps and hygiene kits to over 122,000 people; distribute 1 million litres of water to 200,000 people each day; and provide medical care to over 9,600 people to date. To all the individual donors, community organizations, corporations, and governments of all levels Ã thank you for your generous support.
The destruction is large in scale and the needs are overwhelming, but the Canadian public is working hard to make a difference. One is continually impressed by the humanitarian action we see every single day through different fundraising initiatives.
At the Northern BC and Yukon Regional Red Cross office located in Prince George, the staff and volunteers daily sing the praises of the local community fundraisers. Individuals, schools, corporates, groups Ã people Ã who, through the generous gift of their time, have planned concerts, dances, dinners, lunches, bake sales, penny drives, and even challenges involving “hair cuts”! To each and every one of the people who organized, participated in, or supported a community fundraiser, we thank you.
As mentioned, the Haitian volunteers were quick to respond to humanity in their own country as disaster fell around them. The same is true of the volunteers who support the work of the Canadian Red Cross. Domestic volunteers across Canada have been working extremely hard to provide all levels of support to this event. The response of the Canadian Red Cross could not have been managed without the local volunteers’ support, initiative, and energy. Thank you.
Please take a moment to thank those in your community who have been providing support to this incredible humanitarian event. The Red Cross is committed to ensuring the people of Haiti have the resources and support needed to rebuild their homes, communities and lives in the months and years ahead.
For more information on the Canadian Red Cross, the response in Haiti, or how to make a donation, please go to our website: www.redcross.ca.
Regional Operations Manager
Northern BC and Yukon