Previous Haitian relief fundraisers cause reluctance to donate after earthquake and tropical storm Grace

The death toll has risen to over 2,000 and thousands more injured.

By Allison Joyner

International assistance is needed for Haiti after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake caused significant damage and loss of life on August 14. However, after investigations revealed that previous humanitarian efforts had been mismanaged, many residents of the Metro Atlanta area are wondering how they can best help.

The steel roof of a house is washed away by Hurricane Matthew in Camp-Perin, Haiti.
Credit: Leticia Barr

The parents of Natasha Pierre Louis, a freelance public relations and marketing agent, left Haiti for America in the 1970s. She helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to directly help besieged citizens of Haiti since the 1970s. 2010 earthquake that caused $ 7.2 billion in damage and claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives, says the recent disaster looks a bit like déjà vu.

She said SaportaReport, “[These organizations] say “we are going to help”, and the country does not get the money. “

Other aid workers have had similar feelings. For the past five years, tech blogger and founder of Tech savvy mom, Leticia Barr, visited Haiti eight times to help with reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Matthew.

She said she was curious about Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and had the opportunity in 2012 to help with reconstruction efforts in the southern region of the country. She said she was disappointed when she found out that large charities, like the American Red Cross, were mismanaging donations meant to help victims.

In 2015, investigation by ProPublica and NPR showed that the organization has received more than half a billion dollars in donations for the Caribbean country. However, only six houses were built with these funds.

A bus carrying volunteers tries to cross a bridge stranded since Hurricane Matthew in 2016 on its way to Les Cayes, Haiti.
Credit: Leticia Barr

Pierre Louis, who has raised over $ 17,000 since the previous disaster, added: “Anyone can say he has good intentions and will give you a receipt so you can deduct it from your taxes. , but after that, we don’t know [where the money is going.]”

For those who want to make sure their money makes a difference, Pierre Louis and Barr both say give to organizations that have a direct impact on those in need and encourage everyone to do their research before making a decision. contribution.

Barr posted on his blog several local organizations that are on the ground to help those in need. Charities like Sainte-Anne project, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) and Community-organized relief effort (CORE) got the job done by providing appropriate clinics and health care, building schools and libraries for continuing education, and supporting fair trade programs to provide fair pay for employment and sustainable income. .

With its church, Saint-Pierre-et-Paul Catholic Church in Decatur, Pierre Louis organizes weekly fundraising drives every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to monetary donations, they accept clothing, canned goods and other non-perishable items. Other churches in the metropolitan area, including the Atlanta Haitian Church of God in southwest Atlanta, have relief funds to help the people of Haiti.

She also suggests making donations to people of Haitian descent to donate the goods directly to family members and other members of their community.

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