Associations in Action: Help for Haiti

An earthquake in Haiti brings out the best in associations.

Associations moved quickly to extend aid to Haiti following the devastating earthquake on January 12. Here are just a few examples; for the most recent updates.

The National Capital Region Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council hosted rapid-response fundraising socials and events for aid groups.

The Personal Financial Planners of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offered their services by advising the public and media on the best ways to donate to charitable groups participating the relief efforts. AICPA is also accepting donations from member CPAs to its longtime disaster relief fund, CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc., and contributing all new donations to Haiti recovery efforts.

The March of Dimes awarded a $100,000 grant to UNICEF to help Haitian women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, babies in need of diapers, clothing, and food, and to offer safe ways to prepare infant formula. Of special concern are infants and toddlers separated from families or orphaned.

Humane Society International offered to send veterinary experts to vaccinate, treat injuries, and rescue animals affected by earthquake. Deceased and displaced animals pose a threat to the people of Haiti and could affect the long-term survival of its agricultural community.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has partnered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to form the Animal Relief Coalition to aid animals in Haiti. Animal rescue teams have been dispatched to provide care for injured animals and help prevent outbreaks of diseases such as rabies; a mobile veterinary clinic is also available to residents and their pets.

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the American Library Association announced a joint donation of $28,584 to support relief efforts in Haiti. The effort was set up in less than 24 hours by the two groups after the deadly quake. Donations were made by many of the 13,000 attendees at the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting in Boston and were matched dollar for dollar by MCCA.

The National Association of School Psychologists launched a special website section called "Support for Haiti"with advice on how schools and adults can best support U.S. children and families affected directly by the earthquake in Haiti. The site also offers natural-disaster resources already online, such as "Global Disasters: Helping Children Cope."

The American Mosquito Control Association is working with members and aid workers to monitor the expected explosion of mosquitoes in the earthquake zone. The organization is worried that mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever may emerge to complicate health efforts, since temporary shelters often don't protect people from insects and disrupted landscapes can provide ideal habitat for mosquito egg-laying.

Supplies Over Seas, a humanitarian aid program of the Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation and Hand in Hand Ministries, mobilized hospital supplies to provide medical aid to earthquake victims. Volunteer physicians, nurses, and medical students collected and sorted excess medical supplies and equipment from area medical facilities. A service event for members to help package the donations was held on January 18.