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Haiti: The Capital Region Responds

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – Telephones at local offices of aid organizations have been ringing off the hook as people across the Capital Region and beyond offer financial support for relief efforts in Haiti. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Local efforts to help earthquake victims in Haiti are in high gear as we enter the weekend. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Haiti's densely populated capital city has taken tens of thousands of lives including that of the catholic Archbishop of Port-au-Prince. Ken Goldfarb, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, where local churches are soliciting help from parishoners via Sunday collections.

More than 400 Internet addresses related to Haiti have been registered since Monday's devastating quake, prompting the New York state Consumer Protection Board issued a press release Thursday headlined "Scam Alert: Beware of Haiti Earthquake Scams" ... Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to make informed decisions when donating to Haiti earthquake relief efforts. "As our hearts and thoughts continue to be with the people of Haiti and their families, we know that generous New Yorkers are eager to help with the relief and recovery efforts. We encourage New Yorkers to consider donating to the relief efforts, and stress that they should do so wisely. Unfortunately, with any outpouring of generosity, there can sometimes be scams. This should not discourage giving, but before making a charitable donation, New Yorkers should take advantage of the tools and tips we have assembled to ensure that their contribution goes to where it is intended."

Siobhan Kent is the Communications Manager for the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York: she says you can make a secure donation RIGHT NOW, right from your cell phone, using the Red Cross TEXT donation line: To donate $10 to the American Red Cross via cellphone, text Haiti to 90999. The amount will be added to your next phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance.

The International Committe of the Red Cross has an extensive online database of the missing.

The Facebook Group EARTHQUAKE HAITI currently has over 150,000 members and more than 4,000 photographs posted by family looking for loved ones.

A site called Haiti Earthquake Support Center is working on a tool which would allow volunteers to help match faces in news photographs to faces of missing persons.