The magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti has reverberated around the globe, as people everywhere mobilize aid for the ravaged and impoverished island nation. Here in Chicago, many local organizations are seeking volunteers and donations as they escalate their aid efforts for Haitians. These are just a few of the groups who are going above and beyond their normal charitable efforts, and who need whatever help you can give.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago
The local branch of the Red Cross has committed "significant financial support" to the relief effort in Haiti, and says the best way for Chicagoans to help is to make a donation. Three workers from the Red Cross in Chicago are on the ground, and told ABC the "devastation and the injuries are extraordinarily serious."
Haitian Congress To Fortify Haiti, Chicago, IL
The Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, based in north suburban Evanston, has been working tirelessly through their grief over Tuesday's earthquake. The organization held a town hall event Wednesday to exchange ideas on how to go about providing relief, and worked alongside the Red Cross of Greater Chicago, which provided mental health professionals for those grieving.
The organization is accepting donations through their Haiti Crisis Relief Fund, and is accepting cash, medical supplies, water purification tablets and hygiene items at their Evanston location. They were working toward accepting a broader range of donations Friday morning.
Soul Vegetarian Restaurant, Chicago, IL
On the South Side, the Soul Vegetarian restaurant has seen an outpouring of community support since the disaster. The eatery, located at 205 E. 75th St. has been accepting donations since news of the disaster hit home.
"We have all kind of ethnic groups that eat here," Soul Veg employee Vahtiyah Israel said. "A lot of friends of the restaurant are from Haiti. When they come in crying about this situation, naturally our doors are open."
The restaurant is working with another organization with airplane access to send the goods to Haiti as soon as possible, Vahtiyah said. They are accepting cash, checks, food, clothing and any other items that can be used.
Feed My Starving Children, Aurora, IL
Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit dedicated to feeding the hungry around the globe. They have spent the days since the earthquake preparing nonperishable food boxes to be sent to Haiti. They suggest that locals either volunteer at their headquarters or send a donation.
Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, Springfield, IL
HSMO is using its longstanding relationships with other charities and with the U.S. military to help aid arrive promptly in Haiti. It will send blankets, hygiene kits, and first-aid equipment on a 40-foot container to Virginia, where the U.S. navy will ship the supplies to Haiti. Volunteers in the Springfield area can work directly with the organization, or can donate at their website.
Local restaurants, Chicago, IL
A number of restaurants are donating their proceeds this weekend to the Red Cross and other Haitian relief organizations. Eat at any of these restaurants this weekend and do a good deed as you treat yourself.