On Saturday, August 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the western part of Haiti. At the time of publication, the death toll is over 1,400, with another 6,000 injured. Haiti’s hospitals are overwhelmed and patients were photographed being treated outdoors due to limited medical capacity.
The earthquake was reminiscent of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit in January 2010, which killed an estimated 250,000 people and injured another 300,000, according to World Vision.
The country is also in the midst of political unrest following the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse on July 7.
To complicate the situation and any relief efforts further, Haiti is in the midst of hurricane season and Tropical Storm Grace was forecasted to hit the country days after the earthquake. The storm brought about 10 inches of rain, which did slow relief efforts, but wasn’t as devastating as it could have been.
Between political unrest, the near-constant looming threat of hurricanes and tropical storms (Haiti regularly finds itself in the path of the storms that develop in the Atlantic), and the still-ongoing recovery and rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake makes this latest heartbreak even more devastating.
As first responders and medical teams continue their search efforts through the rubble, new needs will arise: treatment for those injured, access to food and shelter, rebuilding infrastructure, and more.
Here are some people and organizations working in Haiti, and how you can help, too:
Where are people already showing up to help in Haiti?
Fred Rogers once said:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
At Good Good Good, that’s what we do.
We look for the helpers. And we always find them.
Right now, those on the ground in Haiti are spending most of their time and attention on responding to this tragedy — so they’re spending less time sharing about the good that they’re doing and seeing.
In the coming days, we expect to see lots more stories of helpers coming out of Haiti via local journalists, social media, and contacts on the ground — and when we do, we’ll update this story.
But until then, here’s the helpers we’ve already found:
- World Central Kitchen and Chef Jose Andres have organized a team of chefs to distribute food to people in need, shopping at local markets to support Haitian farmers and sellers when possible.
- Partners in Health is a global organization providing equitable health care to people around the world who need it most, and they’re currently working in Haiti to provide immediate medical supplies and care.
- Rescue teams and doctors jumped into action immediately to help rescue people from downed buildings and get them medical attention — including difficult-to-reach areas.
- Mercy Corps told Good Good Good they’re on the ground in Haiti (and in Afghanistan) working to provide hygiene supplies for families displaced by damage from the earthquake. They also used text messaging communications to keep Haitians up-to-date on Tropical Depression Grace and necessary preparations to take.
- The U.S. Coast Guard, USAID, and other rescue organizations are partnering with local first responders to airlift and get immediate medical attention to people injured in the earthquake.
- Naomi Osaka pledged any prize money she wins in her tournament this week to Haiti relief efforts.
- Catalina Lubin, a content creator and Haitian beauty blogger, shared that her aunt is cooking rice to feed people on the streets of Haiti. She said, "Even when she lost everything, she remains strong." Chef José Andrés, of World Central Kitchen, saw the tweet and offered support for her efforts.
How can I help Haiti?
In order to make sure your financial support does the most good — rather than donating to large organizations (like the Red Cross, which has mishandled relief funds), we recommend supporting these organizations:
To support a local organization addressing poverty and empowering women in Haiti, donate to Fonkoze.
Fonkoze is working to break the cycle of poverty in Haiti by empowering Haitians, primarily women, with financial and development services to lift their families out of poverty. Your support helps them empower families throughout the country with life-changing tools, resources, and training needed to break the cycle of poverty — and prepare for unforeseen challenges such as pandemics, natural disasters, and more.
Make a donation here to support Fonkoze
To support an organization helping Haiti’s children, donate to Hope for Haiti.
Working in Haiti for over 30 years, Hope for Haiti’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Haitian people, particularly children. Through their work, they implement an integrated model for development that has been proven to reduce poverty by working with community leaders in rural areas in five key program areas: education, healthcare, infrastructure, access to clean water, and economic opportunity.
Donate to support earthquake relief efforts and ongoing efforts in Haiti.
To provide food to Haitians, make a donation to World Central Kitchen.
In addition to providing food to people in need in the wake of natural disasters wherever and whenever they hit around the world, including right now in Haiti, World Central Kitchen started a professional culinary arts training program in Haiti in 2015. The program offers a 5-month long curriculum that prepares young, aspiring chefs for their first job in the commercial kitchens of local restaurants, hotels, caterers, and other institutions like schools or hospitals. 100% of the program’s graduates in Haiti have received internship placements, and 60% received job placements after that.
In addition to meeting immediate needs in Haiti, a donation to World Central Kitchen will help educate Haiti’s aspiring culinary workers. Make a one-time or recurring donation here.
To meet basic needs like water, shelter, and medical attention, make a donation to MercyCorps.
All over the world, Mercy Corps works alongside communities to help families affected by disasters, conflict, and climate change. In Haiti alone, Mercy Corps has 70 dedicated team members ready to work when disaster strikes — and their teams have been activated now.
Donate to their Humanitarian Response Fund to meet the immediate needs of those facing crises like the earthquake, and build a future where everyone can prosper.
You can help the people of Haiti by using your voice and your platform.
Lastly, you can do good by talking about what’s happening in Haiti:
Contact your elected officials to let them know providing aid to Haiti right now is important to you.
You can also share this story on social media to help more people learn about what’s happening in Haiti and take action in support of the Haitian people.
By working together to do what we can and give what we have, we can make a really big difference.