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Haiti Volunteer Project: Morning Update 1/14/10

Haiti Travel
by Julie Schwietert Jan 14, 2010

Please donate now to support relief efforts:

– UNICEF. Go online to or call (800) 4UNICEF.

– Red Cross. Go online to, or call (800) REDCROSS.

– Direct Relief International. Donate online at

– Mercy Corp. Go online to or mail checks to Haiti Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland, Ore. 97208 or call (888) 256-1900

[Special Note 1/14/10 @2:15 EST]

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and willing volunteers. Thank you.

At this point we are working in direct concert with consul in NYC and established orgs to determine their needs and to wait for their direction.

Please note that Matador will not be taking volunteers to Haiti who are unqualified or unskilled as medical professionals and/or proven disaster relief.

If you’d like to support volunteer efforts in Haiti, please consider donating to one of the orgs listed here.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

You’ve reached into your hearts and into your networks.

I went to bed last night (this morning, was it? Yes, I think so) with a full heart and a million thoughts, reaching over to the notebook by the bed every few minutes to make another note.

So many Matador members have volunteered hours of time to organize volunteer lists. Hundreds of you that had never heard of Matador before the earthquake have emailed, called, or tweeted offers to help.

We are doing everything we can to provide specific, concrete opportunities for you to help.

While we continue to discuss logistics about a trip to Haiti, please know that we are working on several other aid and relief projects, too, and will be posting information about how you can help, so check here often.

Here’s the morning update:

1. We will be talking with our contacts in organizations that are on the ground in Haiti to continue discussing needs and logistics.

As of 3:00 AM EST this morning, the last aid organization representative I spoke with cautioned that sending in volunteers–even those with specific and much needed-skills– right now may cause more harm than good. The organizations are still trying to assess their needs and capacity to handle volunteers. Safety is a serious concern, as is availability of fresh water.

Until they can determine what kind of help they need and the best way to provide it, international and domestic aid organizations are sending this consistent message: PLEASE BE PATIENT. They are struggling to get organized and to communicate their needs. Haiti will need our help for a long time, so don’t expend all of your energy right now.

2. I will be conveying the resources Matador has been able to organize to the Haitian Consulate in New York City this morning.

The New York City consulate is the key organizer in the US Northeast to mobilize all efforts. Updates will be posted here as they are available.

3. You can help immediately by donating to one of the orgs listed above.

Also, please check Wyclef Jean’s website to learn about how you can donate money.

4. We are working with amazing individuals all over the US to coordinate donations of goods.

If you are in New York City, we may begin pick ups of donated goods as early as today. If you have a substantial number of items to pick up, please email me at: (Subject Line: NYC DONATIONS).


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