The difficulty, of course, is making sure that the money goes to where it needs to go. There was that huge debacle with the Red Cross after 9/11 where they took donations and it went where they thought they needed it and not directly to NYC. I understand what they were thinking, but when I direct my donation, I want it to go where I want it to go.
I'm giving to the Weill Cornell Medical College's campaign because they already have clinics set up in Haiti and have been working with Haitian doctors and nurses who are familiar with the area (through the non governmental organization GHESKIO) . Although their work usually revolves around the study of Kaposi's Sarcoma and opportunistic infections (generally related to HIV/AIDS), they are temporarily concentrating on the effects of the earthquake.
Below is a message from the head and founder of GHESKIO.
Go over to Cornell's page about Haitian relief to contribute.A MESSAGE FROM DR. JEAN PAPE 1/13/10 - 3pm
We were very lucky. I have heard from most of our staff and they are safe. My knee is slightly injured by a piece of concrete that fell from the ceiling. I was at a meeting with the Prime Minister, The Minister of Health , the Director General, the Directors of WHO and UNAIDS, USAID staff, others when it all started. We were all able to get out before the room collapsed. All the walls around both GHESKIO sites are broken. Buildings have been structurally damaged particularly at the old GHESKIO.
1. Clear the obstructed roads so that help can reach those in need
2. Specialized teams to save those who are still under the rubble
3. Shelters for those who lost their home
4. Medical and surgical supplies
6. Ready to use food
7. Need to organize quickly the burial of the thousands who are dead.
8. Need to put in place emergency hospitals as Doctors without Borders are not operational as their building collapsed.
9. Emergency measures to prevent infections
Please forward this note to all those concerned about the situation in Haiti.