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How you can best help Haiti's earthquake survivors

Haiti, January 13, 2010

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We want to thank everyone for the incredible outpouring of support and offers to deploy and help out with the emergency relief effort. We appreciate your willingness to lend a hand!

Unfortunately Mercy Corps does not send volunteers to our programs overseas, even in emergencies. Our staff is made up of paid professionals, and we hire people locally.

We also don't accept donations of disaster-relief items from the general public.

There are many good reasons for these policies, most of which can be found on the FAQ page of the Center for International Disaster Information, under the "Volunteering" and "Donations - In-kind" sections. It also explains at the top why cash donations are the most helpful way to help — how they allow relief supplies to be purchased locally, giving a "triple advantage ... of stimulating local economies, ensuring that supplies arrive as quickly as possible and reducing transport and storage costs."

If you'd like to do more than simply make a donation, please consider setting up your own fundraising page here on our site, spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter or your email list, holding a fundraiser in your community, or post one of our banners on your website.

Thank you!