Haitian response: How you can help

The American Red Cross has pledged an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by the earthquake in Haiti, and is prepared to take further action as local responders assess the situation. “Initial reports indicate widespread damage in Port au Prince, with continuing aftershocks,” says Tracy Reines, director of international disaster response for the American Red Cross. “As with most earthquakes, we expect to see immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.”

Response: The international American Red Cross has made available all of the relief supplies from its warehouse in Panama, which would provide for basic needs for about 5,000 families. It is deploying a disaster management specialist to Haiti, and has additional disaster specialists on standby if needed. The American Red Cross has an extensive partnership with the Haitian Red Cross, which is expected to lead the Red Cross response to the earthquake. The Red Cross is not accepting volunteers to travel to Haiti.

Red Cross donations: Mahoning, Trumbull and North Columbiana chapters are accepting money donations. Send donations, earmarked for Haiti relief, to: Mahoning Chapter Red Cross, 8392 Tod Ave., Boardman, Ohio 44512, (330) 726-6063; Trumbull Chapter, 661 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren, Ohio 44483, (330) 392-2551; or North Columbiana County, 5843 Ohio 45, Lisbon, Ohio 44432-9396, (330) 424-6610. Visit www.redcross.org to make a donation.

Catholic Relief Services: The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is accepting monetary donations to support the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti. CRS is the official overseas relief and development agency of U.S. Catholic bishops, which provides emergency assistance. Send donations, earmarked for Haitian Earthquake Fund, to Catholic Relief Services, in care of the Office of Social Action, Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, 144 W. Wood St., Youngstown, Ohio, 44503. For information, call Brian Corbin, diocesan director of CRS, at (330) 744-8451, ext. 320.

Catholic Medical Mission Board: The organization is accepting donations. Monetary contributions can be made by sending checks, payable to CMMB-Haiti, to CMMB, 10 West 17th St. New York City, N.Y., 10011, or by calling (800) 678 5659. Pledges can also be made via the CMMB Web site at www.cmmb.org. Donated medicines and medical supplies are also being accepted by CMMB. To make these donations, contact Kathy Tebbett at (212) 242-7757. CMMB has worked in Haiti since 1912 when its founder, Dr. Paluel Flagg, went there to help those suffering from leprosy, and maintains a key office there. Overall, 96% of donations received by CMMB are directly applied to services to help those in need.

Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Station: “Although the 910th Airlift Wing has not received a tasking in support of Haiti relief efforts, we have aircraft and personnel ready to serve when called,” said Col. Karl McGregor, 910th Airlift Wing Commander, in Vienna.

To Check the welfare of friends, relatives: People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Haiti should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at (888) 407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.

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