"This is my opinion and does not constitute an endorsement, opinion or official position of the U.S. Army".
A massive earthquake struck Haiti on January 12th causing catastrophic damage. Although no exact numbers are in yet, an estimated “tens of thousands” of lives were lost and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told NBC’s “Today” program that about a third of its population had been affected. The US government and other organizations mobilized resources and people to assist in what is expected to be a lengthy relief effort.
When the news first broke, you couldn’t turn to a news channel without visions of covered and bloodied bodies, crying children and distraught adults. And those sights stirred the spirit of generosity in perhaps millions of us Americans to donate. Yet, a mere few days or dare I say hours later, the FBI, Better Business Bureau and other like agencies issued warnings about Haiti-related scams. Now, I am not saying the warnings were not without merit. In fact, I applaud those agencies for sharing timely information to help us to identify scams.
This blog – my first one to you - is not about the issuance of those warnings. It’s about the generosity of our great nation! In a time when so many Americans are experiencing their own financial and economic hardships, millions of dollars have been donated to the Red Cross, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and the innumerable local efforts. And more continues to be donated to support those relief efforts. In the time of another nation’s need and despair, America’s spirit of generosity trumped our concern for scams. So, today I just want to write out loud…I am proud to be an AMERICAN! AMERICA ROCKS!!
To view the FBI’s warning and tips on how to identify a scam, please visit http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm.
Here are but a few credible ways to help:
• Contribute online through the ClintonBushHaitiFund.org or text “QUAKE” to 20222 to charge a $10 donation to your cell phone bill
• Contribute online through the AmericanRedCross.org or text "HAITI" to 90999 and make a $10 donation to your cell phone bill
• Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.
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