Mercy Corps - Haiti Earthquake call Jan. 28

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  • Mercy Corps - Haiti Earthquake call Jan. 28
  <span class="field-credit">
    Jenny Vaughan/Mercy Corps  </span>
    January 25, 2010. Mercy Corps staff member, Cassandra Nelson, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Photo: Jenny Vaughan/Mercy Corps

On Thursday, January 28th, Mercy Corps’ Cassandra Nelson — calling in from Port-au-Prince – teamed up with Global Emergency Operations Director Randy Martin for a live, online briefing about Mercy Corps Haiti earthquake response efforts.

The briefing included eyewitness accounts from Haiti, along with answers to thoughtful questions about logistics, coordination with other aid agencies, the transition from emergency relief to long-term recovery, and Mercy Corps’ long-term commitment to helping the people of Haiti rebuild their lives.

Click here to hear a recording of the live, online briefing from Haiti. (Only the name field is required to get access to the recording.) If you have any trouble downloading the recording, click here for additional instructions.

There were a number of questions from participants about how to volunteer in Haiti. However, Mercy Corps does not send volunteers to our programs overseas, even in emergencies. Our staff is made up of paid professionals, and we believe in hiring people locally. That said, here are some resources we found:

National Nurses United

Center for International Disaster Information

We also don't accept donations of disaster-relief items from the general public. You can read more about good reasons for these policies on , 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.

Our advocacy team in Washington has put up some information on a movement to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective for people in Haiti and around the world. They’re asking you to write your Congressperson in support of this effort. You can find that here.