Locals come together to help Haiti - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/14/10

Locals come together to help Haiti

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Homes buried, entire cities destroyed, and possibly hundreds of thousands dead. Haiti lies in ruins after Tuesday's devastating earthquake, but locals have already started to mobilize for the cause.

That includes Third Class Petty Officer David Williams with U.S. Navy.

"He left this morning to go to Haiti and he will be over there at least a month possibly even longer. He doesn't know for sure," said Williams' mother Rhonda Williams.

Proud mother Rhonda Williams says her son, a hospital corp. man, will be working with those injured during the massive quake.

"He likes doing it, and I think he is proud that he does it. I know I'm proud of him," said Williams.

Nearby Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis New Mexico also sent relief. Wednesday, two MC130H aircraft left to provide help to the victims.

Those who can't go to Haiti are helping in a huge way as well. Locals have been in and out of the American Red Cross donating what they can.

"Our main focus is financial donations. It's much easier to transport money and it also allows us to get the local economy up and running if we're able to purchase the goods as close to the affected area as possible," said American Red Cross Chairman Bill Curnow.

The Red Cross can't track how much money Lubbock has donated because many are going online to give money. Just since this morning, Red Cross has gotten more than $1,000 in cash at the local office.

"One thing about west Texas, the one thing that I'm very, very proud of is we've always helped strangers in need. I think your going to find that this particular community and all communities here in Texas are really going to rally for the cause," said Curnow.

Besides going on line or visiting your local American Red Cross to donate money, you can also send a text message. Text the word HAITI to the number 90999. You will receive a confirmation text message shortly asking to confirm the donation by texting back YES. On your next phone bill the donation will show up as a ten dollar charge.

With all of the requests for donations, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot issued a consumer alert for Texans warning of possible scams for Haiti relief.

Texans who are solicited by telephone or e-mail and asked to make a charitable donation toward relief efforts in Haiti should keep the following in mind:

• Know the soliciting organization. Ask for credentials, including the exact name and telephone number of the organization, particularly if the charity is unfamiliar.
• Call the charity directly and confirm that the solicitor is actually associated with it.
• Be on the watch for questionable charities using names that closely resemble those of well-known charities.
• Find out how the donation will be used.
• Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion and short on descriptions about how charitable contributions will aid the recovery effort.
• Don't succumb to high-pressure tactics and demands for an immediate decision. A legitimate charity welcomes background checks on their operations.
• Never give a credit card or bank account number to a solicitor.
• Never give cash and never agree to give money to a courier. Write a check in the name of the charity, not the soliciting individual, and get a receipt.

www.charitywatch.org.

www.redcross.org

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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