Haiti Earthquake

Helping Haiti: CT Department of Consumer Protection Offers Tips For Donors

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The death toll from Saturday's earthquake in Haiti continues to climb and crews continue to work around the clock to render aid to those injured. The widespread devastation around the country is leading to some organizations and individuals offering help to those suffering.

With the push to offer help to Haiti and the people there, the state Department of Consumer Protection is encouraging people to give in their position to do so, but ask that the public adheres to a few guidelines.

"Don't be discouraged from giving but do your research ahead of time and make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck," said Kaitlyn Krasselt, communications director for Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection.

If you choose to donate online to a cause there are a few things to consider, according to Krasselt.

"If it's asking you to set up an account be wary of the type of information that it's asking for because any information you put into a database like that could be sold, it could be compromised."

DCP provided additional tips:

  1. Do not give out your social security number because charitable organizations don't need that information.
  2. If you decide to donate to a charity in Connecticut, you can always go to DCP's website to find out if the organization is registered.
  3. Remember to keep your receipts, too.

"By keeping your receipt, it protects your donation and allows you to have proof that you gave and it's also tax-deductible," said Krasselt. "Additionally giving to a traceable form of payment like a credit card or a check is better than a cash donation."

NBC Connecticut caught up with several organizations and Haitian natives who have established relief campaigns around the state.

"We need a lot of everything but more than anything, we need prayer," said Mireille Calleau, a Haitian native. "I'm a Christian and my first reaction is to call on God and Lord because we still remember the damages and lives lost from the Earthquake in 2010."

Haitians in Waterbury are praying for miracles and organizing support for their native country that has been devastated by another major earthquake.

On Saturday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake left thousands dead and injured, at least 1.2 million Haitians including 540,000 children have been impacted.

Debris, destroyed buildings and remnants of homes can be seen along the streets. The earthquake comes on the heels of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise's assignation back in July.

"It is bad, everyone one of us is sad," said Pastor Joseph Michel, President of Hand-to Hand for Haiti. "People need clothes, water, medication, food and they also need help from a psychology perspective to help them manage the situation."

Officials from Hand-to-Hand for Haiti, along with other organizations, say the effort to offer help is critical to get much-needed help to the country.

"It's important to help our neighbors, Haiti sits on our nation's doorstep and they've just gone through a devastating earthquake that has been in a limited area," said Susan Wallace, executive director for the Norwich Diocese Outreach to Haiti.

The Norwich Diocese Outreach to Haiti has helped to contribute meals to children, salaries to teachers and rebuild homes.

Hand-To-Hand for Haiti is taking donations at 64 Dixon Street in Waterbury. You can also give the organization a call at 203-577-9304.

The Norwich of Diocese Outreach to Haiti is also accepting donations. You can call them at 860-800-3604

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