Red Cross vehicles are getting ready to enter Haiti at the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. (IFRC/Eric Quintero)
Following Tuesday’s 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, the American Red Cross has seen a continued outpouring of support from the Bay Area, with thousands of residents going online or calling local offices with offers of help. In the last 72 hours, $60 million has been raised nationally for the relief efforts in Haiti.
To help field the large volume of calls for donations, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter has opened a call center which will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily through Friday, January 22. The call center will also handle call overflow over the weekend from American Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In addition, all of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter offices will be open extra hours over the weekend and on Monday to receive monetary donations that are dropped off in person.
- San Francisco Office, 85 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 – Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Oakland Office, 3901 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94111 – Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Burlingame Office, 1710 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010 – Saturday and Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- San Rafael Office, 712 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 – Saturday and Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Concord Office, 1300 Alberta Way, Concord, CA 94521 – Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Fairfield Office, 1545 N. Texas Street, Suite 102, Solano, CA 94533 – Saturday and Monday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The catastrophic damage caused by the earthquake in Haiti has posed logistical challenges for all humanitarian organizations. Red Cross workers continue to work around the clock performing triage, first aid, addressing urgent needs and mobilizing a massive response in Haiti.
A team of highly-skilled disaster responders from the American Red Cross have arrived in Port-au-Prince and are coordinating with local and international partners bring aid into the country. These individuals join the 15-person staff the American Red Cross already had on the ground and more than 12 Red Cross teams that arrived from other countries yesterday. Among them are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists. These teams will establish field hospitals, restore water and sanitation systems, distribute supplies and restore family links facilities.
Three planes carrying Red Cross humanitarian aid and 40 tons of supplies have been sent to Port-au-Prince. The first carries a field hospital, including specialized kits to help treat the wounded, basic medicines and chlorine for water treatment. The second carries tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets. A base camp has been secured near the airport with warehousing facilities for distribution of relief supplies.
How to Help
While the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter appreciates heartfelt offers to travel to Haiti or to donate household items, at this time, what the Red Cross needs the most are financial contributions – whether by check, online or by phone.
People in the Bay Area can make a donation to the International Response Fund online at www.redcrossbayarea.org
or via phone at 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722). Donors can designate their gifts to the Haiti relief fund. The public can also help by texting “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross.
How to Get Help
The International Committee of the Red Cross is helping to reconnect separated families within the country. They have established a special Web site, enabling persons in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake: www.icrc.org/familylinks.
If you’re trying to reach a U.S. citizen living or traveling in Haiti, you should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747.
You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter at 85 Second Street, 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or online at www.redcrossbayarea.org.