By Deirdre Imus It has been a week since the catastrophic earthquake struck the small nation of Haiti, transmitting unimaginable pictures that shocked and saddened all of us.
From the first report, we knew the news would get much worse before it got better. It is estimated that over 100,000 people may have lost their lives and a million are homeless. The poorest nation in the western hemisphere, the people of Haiti were already vulnerable to malnutrition and disease. A shortage of clean water has only exacerbated their suffering. America's response to the disaster has been swift and generous.
Along with the President's pledge of $100 million in aid, private citizens are also donating millions through a variety of non-profit charitable organizations. As supplies and medical personal pour into Haiti, a government in shambles and destroyed infrastructure has created a logistical nightmare for the search and rescue teams. Right now there are an estimated three million people in need of food, water, shelter and medical care. The need is truly overwhelming and one that will continue for months, if not years to come.
As the people of Haiti fight for their own survival, you can help sustain this humanitarian rescue effort.
Texting HAITI to 90999:The U.S. Department of State's Web site suggests texting "HAITI" to "90999" to donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts. The $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill. Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to contribute to the disaster relief efforts.
Texting YELE to 501501:On Twitter, musician Wyclef Jean, a native of Haiti, notes, "Haiti needs your help text YELE to 501501 and 5 dollars will go toward earthquake relief." Yele Haiti is a grassroots movement Jean has set up to inspire change in Haiti through programs in education, sports, the arts and environment.
Make sure you research your charitable organization. Don't get scammed by individuals taking advantage of this tragedy for more information.
Deirdre Imus is the founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (r) at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-founder and Co-director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Deirdre is the author of four books, including three national bestsellers. She is a frequent speaker on green living and children's health issues, and is a contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com. For more information on Deirdre, visit http://www.dienviro.com/.