January 15, 2010
RE: Update on U.S. Relief Efforts in Haiti
This is a follow-up to our letter of January 13.
In response to the devastating hurricane in Haiti, the White House provided the National League of Cities with an update on its efforts, which continue to focus on saving lives, supporting recovery efforts on the ground, and accounting for the thousands of American citizens who are currently in Haiti.
In addition, the White House has established a centralized website, www.whitehouse.gov/HaitiEarthquake, which will be updated in coming days with informational tools and resources for individuals and communities seeking to support relief efforts. Families of Americans living in Haiti who are trying to determine the status of loved ones are encouraged to contact the State Department at 1-888-407-4747.
According to the White House, cash donations are the most efficient and effective way to help the relief effort in Haiti right now. They allow humanitarian organizations to purchase (often within the affected region itself) the exact type and quantity of items needed by those affected by the crisis. Read about the advantages of monetary donations here. You can immediately donate to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." You can also find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information, or through USAID’s interactive website.
Finally, the White House has requested that city officials keep track of all offers of in-kind services and supplies so that as needs on the ground are assessed the Administration can quickly turn around the resources and get them to Haiti. Through the League, the National League of Cities will continue to keep us posted as more information becomes available.
We also encourage you to visit our website at http://www.njslom.org/Haitian_Earthquake.html where we will post the most recent information we have on our response to this humanitarian crisis.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.