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Secular Charities for Haitian Relief Efforts


Haitian Relief EffortsHaitian civilians receive assistance in a camp set up by the Brazilian Army in Port-au-Prince,
in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the impoverished nation of Haiti less than 20 miles from the nation's capital. The disaster, combined with Haiti's high population density, crumbling architecture, and widespread poverty, has created a tragedy in which death tolls may top 100,000. Over three million people have been affected by the quake. The infrastructure of the area has been devastated, and many skilled workers (including health care providers) who could help with recovery are missing or dead. Haiti is in urgent need of assistance in this crisis.

Many of us want to reach out to help those who are suffering in the wake of this disaster. But as secularists, we are wary of those organizations that would include proselytization in their relief efforts.

The American Humanist Association's Humanist Charities has set up a fund specifically for Haitian disaster relief. Harvard University evolutionary biologist Sebastian Velez has been working with the Children of the Border project, which has been working to help Haitian immigrants since mid-2008, and is serving as the point-of-contact to help the Humanist Charities accomplish real results in Haiti.

The Skeptics and Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE), a project under the CFI umbrella, has created a relief fund to benefit Doctors without Borders, which lost all three of its Haitian medical facilities in the earthquake. At this time, all donations to SHARE, 100% with no operating costs retained, will be sent directly to Doctors without Borders.
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has launched Non-Believers Giving Aid, a secular charitable organization. The Dawkins Foundation is covering all of the operating costs for this program, so everything you give will be passed on to direct relief organizations.
Foundation Beyond BeliefIn addition, the Foundation Beyond Belief has recommended several organizations that have received high ratings from Charity Navigator and take a secular approach to their charitable work. We are reposting their list here so that Secular Student Alliance members, supporters and friends are able to find organizations through which they can support Haitian relief efforts. The links will take you to the Charity Navigator page for that organization, where you can find more information and make a donation.

Foundation Beyond Belief writes: "MADRE is a small organization with a high efficiency rating and a good track record in disaster relief that does not mix worldview with its charity. ActionAid International is an outstanding organization that is efficient, non-sectarian, and works with a small budget. International Relief Teams, AmeriCares, Doctors Without Borders, and Partners in Health all receive high ratings for the secular charitable work they do."

Finally, an SSA supporter pointed out the organization Direct Relief International, which combines a secular focus with a fantastic Charity Navigator rating.

Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in Haiti, and we are happy to put our hands to work to help the survivors. Please feel free to share this information with your local groups, friends and family, in order to demonstrate our humanistic generosity in a time of great need.

Image from Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency, and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

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