Friday, January 15, 2010

Secular Charities for Haiti Relief

Here's a short list with a brief description of each of them and links where you can donate. I've included text donation information for those charities that provide for that. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I had time to vet. You can find them all on Charity Navigator.


MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives. MADRE uses human rights to advance social justice. We partner with women in communities worldwide to meet urgent, local needs and create long-term solutions to the problems that women face. Our program areas are: peace building; women's health and combating violence against women; and economic and environmental justice.

ActionAid International -

ActionAid International USA's (AAI USA) works on the ground and in the halls of power to end poverty. We work in 49 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, with over 25 million poor people. Our work seeks to create and sustain better futures by providing relief from disasters and conflicts, empowering women, fighting hunger, holding governments accountable, fighting HIV & AIDS, and making education accessible. ActionAid's mission is to work with poor and marginalized people to eradicate poverty by overcoming the injustice and inequality that cause it.

International Relief Teams -

International Relief Teams (IRT) is an international relief organization dedicated to organizing volunteer teams to provide medical and non-medical assistance to the victims of disaster and profound poverty worldwide. Since its inception in 1988, IRT has provided $5.7 million in volunteer services and more than $136 million in medicines and supplies to families in desperate need in 52 countries worldwide. IRT specializes in medical training and education, surgical and clinical outreach, health promotion, disease prevention and disaster relief. During the past year, IRT deployed 36 teams, involving 157 medical and construction specialists. IRT provided nearly $26 million in supplies and services to thousands of families in need worldwide.

AmeriCares -

Founded in 1982, AmeriCares is an international relief organization whose passion to help is matched by an ability to deliver. Whether it's an epic disaster or a daily struggle, AmeriCares goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that medicines, medical supplies and aid reaches individuals in need wherever they are, whenever they need it. In a quarter of a century, we have delivered more than $8 billion of aid to 137 countries. For more than two decades, the success of AmeriCares has been characterized by timely response, meaningful impact, high integrity and intense passion for the work. To deliver medicine, relief supplies and health care to the needy, AmeriCares has developed a platform based on strategic partnerships, high-efficiency and tight auditing procedures.

Doctors Without Borders -

Doctors Without Borders, USA (DWB-USA) was founded in 1990 in New York City to raise funds, create awareness, recruit field staff, and advocate with the United Nations and US government on humanitarian concerns. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. In 2007, MSF-USA raised $152.1 million and sent 200 aid workers to work overseas.

MSF lost all 3 of its hospitals in Haiti.

Partners in Health -

Founded in 1987, Partners In Health's (PIH) mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Through long-term partnerships with our sister organizations, we bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need and work to alleviate the crushing economic and social burdens of poverty that exacerbate disease. PIH believes that health is a fundamental right, not a privilege. PIH works in Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Russia, USA, Malawi and Lesotho, and supports projects in Mexico and Guatemala.

Humanist Charities of the American Humanist Association -

Humanist Charities of the American Humanist Association (AHA) expresses its deep sorrow for the people affected by the massive devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti. To ensure rapid and effective response to this tragedy, Humanist Charities has established the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund to support a humanist and secular organization in Haiti with direct aid.

UPDATE 01/15 4:12pm: Thanks to the generosity of over 300 members, Humanist Charities is sending $23,450 from the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund to purchase food and supplies for the people of Haiti. The AHA sent the donation via wire transfer to a secure credit union in the Dominican Republic, where the money will be used by Sebastian Velez to secure food and supplies to deliver to the people in Jacmel, a city near Port-au-Prince devastated by the earthquake. A gift of this size had made it possible to provide the largest truck filled with supplies. The trucks and Dominican NGO teams will travel Saturday evening to begin distributing the food.

Direct Relief International -

Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world. We work to strengthen the in-country health efforts of our partners by providing essential material resources – medicines, supplies and equipment.

Direct Relief was established in 1948 and is nonsectarian, nongovernmental, and apolitical. All the programs are provided in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to political affiliation, religious belief, or ethnic identity.

To support our earthquake relief efforts in Haiti,donate online or text the message Give10 to the number 20222 to donate $10 via your mobile phone.

American Red Cross -

Since its founding in 1881 by visionary leader Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering.

To support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, text the message Haiti to the number 90999 on your mobile phone.


  1. Thanks for the info! Will get on it and do my best to help.

  2. Partners in Health has been getting a lot of positive buzz in the blogosphere. Their hospital in Haiti is still standing - and swamped. They have put together a special Haiti page which is full of accurate information -

    Their model is not to swoop in with a bunch of foreigners - most of their employees are locals.

    There are supposedly over 10,000 NGOs operating in Haiti. Most are xian missionaries who focus not on people's lives - but on rescuing these poor backward Haitians from voodoo and bringing them to jeebus. Right now, a lot of time is being wasted saving these missionaries and getting them back to the US.

  3. Thanks for that. One of Albert Camus's characters in La Peste, a doctor, said he wanted to save bodies, not souls. This is what Haiti needs right now, people concerned for their well being. Funny how one of the most, if not the most proheminent Chirstian in the US quickly shows his real motives. It was just as retard as it was disgusting, as Haitians are good Christians, mainly of Catholic demonations but you can also find a variety of Protestant ones and a handful of charismatic movements. And what good it did to them, I might add.

  4. $60 bucks to DRI!


  5. Doctors Without Borders is struggling because all their hospitals are now big piles of rubble. I read that they had people waiting to be operated with open fractures and such (they were waiting for some inflatable operating rooms, hopefully they got them already).

    But hey, at least that will teach those Haitians not to make pacts with the Devil. *head asplode*

  6. I am actually having a discussion with a gentleman online about the benefits of secular charities. I have assumed that secular charities are less likely to use money for conversion. It seems obvious to me, but I can't seem to find any studies on this. Does anyone know of a study showing the relationship between a charity's purpose (secular or religious) and how much money is used for proselytizing (Bibles, pamphlets, etc)?

  7. Brian - you can find information about how a charity spends money on Charity Navigator.

    In answer to your question, a secular charity doesn't spend any of its money on proselytizing. That's 'cause it's, you know - secular.

  8. Jen,

    I know that sounds fairly obvious. I would also assume that a secular charity would not spend any money on that by definition. However, the only distinction that I can see between the two is in their mission statements with regards to religion, unless there is some certification process or something to be a secular charity.

    It is possible that one could set up a charity that does not mention religion, and then try to use funds for conversion. It seems like a very improbable case to me, but the person I am discussing this with won't concede that this case is extremely unlikely and it is more likely that a religious charity would not expressly state that their mission is conversion and then turn around and proselytize.

    Maybe I'm just arguing with an idiot, but I thought there may be something I could show him that would verify what I think to be common sense. Thanks.

  9. Brian, I think your cynicism is not misplaced! Good for you for trying to check it out before you give money.


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