*Received from the National Service Briefing – A Message from the Corporation for National & Community Service:*
As we are all too aware, on Tuesday Haiti experienced an earthquake that caused devastation beyond what words and photos can convey. There is tremendous loss of life, catastrophic damage to most buildings affecting a third of the population, and dire need for food, water and medical care. Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti and their families and loved ones.
The United States is mounting an aggressive, comprehensive response to the tragedy, offering civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. The Corporation is coordinating with the State Department, USAID, FEMA, and other agencies as the U.S. government develops a unified response.
According to the State Department, the best way to help the people of Haiti right now is to give money. Your donation can save lives.
According to USAID, while monetary donations are preferred to commodity contributions, there may be rare instances when a commodity contribution would be of value to relief operations.
At this time, volunteer opportunities are extremely limited to people with prior disaster experience and technical skills (such as health, engineering, etc). If you have the expertise needed, you can register your skills and experience for a possible volunteer opportunity at the Center for International Disaster Information’s registration page.
*Received from the National Service Briefing*
Fundraise and donate to relief organizations.
How To Raise Money
This tipsheet from Youth Service America contains a list of basic fundraising ideas:
Where To Donate
Serve.gov, the State Department, and USAID, the federal agency coordinating the U.S. federal government response, all recommend donating to the Red Cross.
The United Nations Foundation is calling on its partners and friends to add their support by contributing to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is the UN’s humanitarian fund responding to emergencies like the earthquake in Haiti. Donations can be made on-line at www.unfoundation.org/donate/cerf.html
The Huffington Post, The Clinton Foundation, and Interaction each list dozens of other organizations, including UNICEF, Operation USA, Save the Children, and MercyCorps.
According to the Red Cross Web site, you can be as young as 17 and donate blood. In fact, with your parents’ permission, you can donate blood at the age of 16. The Red Cross is reporting that, while they always encourage blood donations, they are meeting the demands in Haiti with their current supply. But if this event inspires you to give, put that inspiration to good use and pull up your shirt sleeves. To learn more about donor eligibility, or to find a blood bank in your community, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org.
Prepare for the next disaster or emergency.
This disaster is also a reminder about the importance of being prepared and ready to respond to any disaster or emergency, especially one in your own community. Here are a few resources to engage youth in service-learning projects focused on disaster preparedness.
Disaster Relief & Preparedness Through Service-Learning Module
Issue-based module and resource guide designed to engage youth in service-learning initiatives that addresses the issue of disaster relief and preparedness.
Guide to Service Learning for Disaster Preparation
This guide is designed as a resource and reference for anyone who is interested in engaging youth/students in service-learning focused on disaster preparation, response, mitigations, and/or recovery. The first section provides useful background information on service-learning, emergency management, and how to focus youth service-learning in this critical area. The second portion of the guide is a set of detailed descriptions and photographs of 20 of the funded projects in Florida. These descriptions provide contact information, background and details about activities, data on project impacts.
Prepare Today – Lead Tomorrow Teen Toolkit
This toolkit was created to support teen community preparedness service-learning experiences. It provides background information on community preparedness and service-learning and takes teens through the entire process of designing a service-learning project, assessment, and reflection. It also includes over a dozen worksheets and several project ideas.