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From piggybanks to prize heifers, Americans support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti
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January 29, 2010

Whether it’s a bake sale, money from a piggybank, the sale of a prize heifer or a boy’s donation of the dollar the tooth fairy left him, people of all ages from across the United States have been extraordinarily generous in their support of American Red Cross relief operations in Haiti.

Their donations have enabled the Red Cross to focus on feeding people in Haiti, on providing clean drinking water, and on distributing shelter items.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts in Haiti,” said Jerry DeFrancisco, President, American Red Cross Humanitarian Services. “The American Red Cross has been working in Haiti with our fellow Red Cross/Red Crescent national societies from around the globe. This generosity allows the Red Cross to not only offer Haiti immediate relief, but to also take part in planning to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild in the coming years.”

Touching stories have emerged about some of those who made donations to help the people in Haiti. For instance, in New Orleans, five-year-old Yahzarah and her mom came to the Southeast Louisiana Red Cross Chapter in New Orleans with the child’s piggybank and donated its contents - $44.70

In Detroit, a man appeared at the Southeastern Michigan Red Cross Chapter in Detroit and donated a crisp $100 bill to help the people in Haiti. His coat was duct-taped, his shoes had holes, and he had to take the bus to the Red Cross office.

Thirty-nine people gathered together in New York City to give to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund by texting the word “Haiti” to 90999. The group raised $390 to help the people in Haiti and recorded their efforts. Nearly 3 million donors have followed suit around the country and made a text donation to support Red Cross efforts in Haiti.

In Bluffton, S.C., three young sisters raised $133 by holding a bake sale to raise money for the American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti following a kindergarten class assignment to collect 100 of any item they wanted. They decided to hold a bake sale and try to collect 100 dollar bills.

In Spring Creek, FL, ten-year-old Austin won a contest among local fifth graders for an essay he wrote on the Transcontinental Railroad. His prize was $30, which he donated to the American Red Cross for Haiti. His family members matched his donation. Four-year-old Max lives in Denver, CO, and had $37 in his Tzedakah, or charity box, from an allowance he gets for picking up his toys and making his bed. He wanted his money to go to the American Red Cross.

An eight-year-old resident of Williamstown, NJ, sent this letter to American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC. “Dear American Red Cross: I heard Haiti had an earthquake. This dollar is for them. It is from the tooth fairy.”

And perhaps the most unusual - a ranch in North Dakota donated five bred heifers for the American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. The heifers were to be auctioned off at the stock yards in Aberdeen, proceeds of which went to the Red Cross International Relief Fund.

People all over the United States are helping with events such as concerts, food sales and raffles. One school is trying to come up with a “Mile of Quarters”. Another is making chains of $1 paper hearts and having different classes compete to make the longest chain. Touched by the plight of the people in Haiti, they are doing what they can to raise funds for the Red Cross relief efforts in the ravaged Caribbean country.

The American Red Cross is sending 3 million pre-packaged meals, which are scheduled to arrive over the weekend. Family-sized tents with tarps, ropes, and tools to construct them are already being distributed.

Red Cross responders are also distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets and blankets. Creole-speaking American Red Cross volunteers are onboard the hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, to serve as interpreters for Haitian patients receiving medical care from the U.S. military. The Red Cross is also meeting the health needs of Haitian survivors and providing support to Haitian families in Haiti and the US. This includes the shipment of blood products, family linking services and providing Red Cross volunteers to the USNS Comfort, which have been in Haiti for one week.

If you would like to help, mobile donors can text “Haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 contribution. You can also help by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.

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, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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