Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helping the Homeless in Haiti

During my early photojournalistic years, I spent an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend in Haiti during the reign of Papa Doc. I'll never forget the beauty, dignity, and graciousness of the people I encountered in spite of their intolerable living conditions. Hunger, brutality, and shantytowns co-exicted with a flourishing tourist industry. Upon hearing about yesterday's catastrophic earthquake,
I was especially concerned, because a journalist friend, of many decades, Tequilla Minsky, had been sending Facebook updates of her latest trip there. For many years, she had been reporting on Haiti's culture and it's emigre community in NYC. Tequilla's silence was finally broken with this post on Facebook: "7. 0 or so...many building have collapsed but not the Oloffson(hotel), which is my home...all is fine here (i arrive about 2 hours before this happened)." She was then able to upload her stunning photographs to to the NY Times before anyone else.
There are many ways you can help:
UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.On the Internet:
You can easily donate through Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti. Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.
Locally, Farm 2 Bistro suggests dropping off relief supplies at 177 Franklin Ave. in Nutley from 11 am -10pm. Free gift in return for every donation.
Baristanet and Huffington have many other opportunities for support.
•Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online at, by phone at1-800-678-7255
CARE Telephone: 800-521-CARE (800-521-2273) On the Internet:
Updated property damage reports can be found here:
News of the NJ connection to Haiti can be found at North

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