“Cool” ways to help earthquake-weary countries

Berkeley Seismological Laboratory

"Where Earthquakes Occur" -Berkeley Seismological Laboratory

With last month’s 7.0- magnitude earthquake in Haiti, last week’s small quake in Japan and Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile, it’s got me thinking… what’s happening in the world? If you’re at all a little bit like me, there is an immediate feeling of despair and hopelessness when I watch the news, or read the paper or God for bid, go online. No matter what space I’m in, I’m plagued with depressing propoganda about mother nature’s rage somewhere in the world. And then the moment passes and I know I better get up and out of this ridiculously pathetic mindset I’ve allowed myself to slip into and do something- anything.

It seems that just as quick as a disaster strikes and my news feed (physically and psychologically) is saturated with articles from CNN, MSNBC and even Facebook’s Emergency Relief Fan Page, I am instantly bombarded with a plethora of choice in foundations and organizations to which I can donate to help. It makes me glad to know so many different organizations are ready to help, preparing minimal to massive relief operations. The paradox is that there are so many organizations, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which organization I should actually donate to.

Hopefully, this list will help. This list is a compilation of some of the top-notch, most trusted, and creative organizations to date that are helping the millions of quake-affected people in Haiti and Chile.

Craft Hope. Crafters can donate their self-created items by emailing the item description and photos. Craft-buyers and consumers can purchase items from the online store. Proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists, in Haiti and Chile.

World Vision is a reliable organization, trusted by a family of over 3 millions donors worldwide, first on the ground in Haiti and Chile (since they’ve been working in both countries for nearly 30 years) and expected to be the last to leave with relief plans for the years ahead. Donate to World Vision relief in Haiti. Donate to World Vision relief in Chile. Or text “CHILE” or “HAITI” to “20222” to donate $10 to World Vision relief efforts in that country.

Soles 4 Souls collects shoes from footwear companies and shoe donors and distributes them free of charge to people in need. They donate a new pair of shoes to someone in need every 9 seconds. Donate to provide footwear for people in Haiti and Chile.

World Food Programme gets food to where it is needed most in times of emergency. The WFP long-term relief efforts provides food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. Donate to WFP in Haiti.

How are you helping Haiti or Chile? Share your creative fundraising stories, favorite charities, and other information on Haiti or Chile to this blog.

For more information on the “best practices” of donating to charity:

Suite 101 on Being a Smart Donor to Charity

Charity Navigator’s Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors

Today on MSNBC, 6 Smart Tips for Charitable Giving

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