Although the full extent of the devastation wrecked by the earthquake in Haiti remains to be seen, it's obvious the country-- the poorest in the Western Hemisphere-- will need a significant amount of aid to recover from an impossibly dire situation. I've heard two radio reporters today on KUOW break into tears while reporting on the ground: hospitals are ravaged, entire neighborhoods are leveled, people of all ages are in critical condition with virtually no available resources.
Wyclef Jean's organization Yele Haiti, created in 2005 to support projects in his home country, has allowed people to donate through text message (you can text "yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to the organization); in fact, the New York Times reports that over $2 million dollars has been raised through text donations over the past three days. While texting definitely makes the donation process easy, it also trends towards thoughtlessness; while Yele's website promises that "100% of proceeds go towards relief efforts," there's no specificity on what relief efforts and how funds will be distributed.
If you attend Waid's tonight for Seattle's first music fundraiser for the Haiti disaster-- featuring live Haitian (Compas & Zouk) music and DJ Kuhnex--you'll know exactly where your money is going. Waid Sainvil, the owner of Waid's, and Hans, a regular bartender there, are both from Haiti originally; reportedly, both of their homes there have been destroyed, and they have yet to hear from their families there.
According to their Facebook event announcement:
This effort is not for any specific organization but FOR FRIENDS and FAMILIES here in SEATTLE who will personally take all proceeds from this effort to HAITI. In addition to DIRECT FAMILY SUPPORT, these FUNDS WILL AID TRANSPORTATION for those organizing to TRAVEL TO ASSIST in the REBUILD of HAITI. We hope to see you - if not, please donate to World Vision in support of their Haiti relief efforts.
Waid's, which also serves Haitian cuisine, is located on 12th and Jefferson in the Central District. If you can't make it tonight but still want to support, you can probably still drop by and give donations through the weekend.