Dear Border Community SERVICE Volunteers and Partners,
We know each other because of our shared interest in promotingemergency preparednessand in helping others during the aftermath of disaster. Several volunteers have called to ask how they can help with Haitian relief efforts. We’ll know more soon; but, at this time, I’d like to offer the words ofNew York State GovernorPatterson who stated:
“I also know that New Yorkers are caring people. They want to do something. They want to help. But with the extensive damage to the Haitian infrastructure, the best way New Yorkers can help right now is to donate what they can – one, five or ten dollars – to credible organizations who can get the goods and supplies that are needed into the hands of the people who need them.”
(Note: Additionally, members of the Niagara University community have been encouraged to consider donating toCatholic Relief Servicesathttp://www.crs.org/while those who attended our August conference and listened to the powerful message ofDavid Campbell, founder and CEO ofHands onDisaster Response,may wish to consider contacting that organization atwww.hodr.orgto offer your help now and in the future.)
We have been asked to share the following advice:“Cash donations avoid the complicated, costly, and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, unloading, resorting, storing, repackaging, and distributing donated goods andcash donations also help get the local economy back on its feet.”
As another day passes into darkness, the frightened, injured, homeless and desperate people ofHaitiare in all of our thoughts. I am deeply grateful to have met many wonderful, generous people during my five years withBorder CommunitySERVICE and hope you will accept this message with the spirit in which it is sent.
GOVERNOR PATERSONANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF ONLINE REGISTRY OFNEW YORK CITIZENSIN HAITI
Web-Based Survey, Toll-Free Phone Lines Go Live at Noon Friday
Hotline Telephone NumberEstablished for Those Who Don’t Have Access to the Web
Governor David A. Patersontoday announced that he has established an online registry ofNew York State citizensin Haiti at the time of Tuesday’s horrific earthquake. The creation of the registry is the first step in what may be a lengthy process of locating New Yorkers.Both the web-based application and a toll free telephone hotline will be activated at noon Friday.
“Presently there is little information from Haiti because the earthquake caused extensive damage to Haiti’s infrastructure,”Governor Patersonsaid. “Although there is a massive international relief effort under way, it will take time until Haiti’s infrastructure is restored and systems are in place to help locate and identify individuals.
“However, collecting information now about New York citizens in Haiti will help locate them once information becomes available,” the Governor added. “Once the massive response to this catastrophe is in place, I am sure a number of organizations will work to reunite loved ones. This registry will be of vital importance to that effort.”
To access the online registry, go to the Governor’s website,www.ny.gov/governor/and click on theNew York State Registryof New York Citizens in Haiti. You will be asked to provide the name of the individuals you have not had contact with and provide some essential contact information. The information collected will not be used or shared for any purpose unrelated to locating and identifying family and friends in Haiti.
For those who do not have access to the web, the Governor has established a hotline –1-888-769-7243– staffed at the Department of Taxation and Finance which has provided this same service during responses to the World Trade Center attack in 2001, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and the recent emergency closure of theLake Champlain Bridgein October 2009. The hotline will be operations from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Governor Paterson said thatNew York State agenciescontinue to work with federal and City officials identifying resources that may be requested by theFederal governmentin this massive relief effort. The Governor has pledged all available State resources to this effort.
“Once again, let me express to the Haitian community overseas and here inNew Yorkthat the thoughts and prayers of all New Yorkers continue to be with you in this darkest of hours.”
I also know that New Yorkers are caring people. They want to do something. They want to help. But with the extensive damage to the Haitian infrastructure, the best way New Yorkers can help right now is to donate what they can – one, five or ten dollars – to credible organizations who can get the goods and supplies that are needed into the hands of the people who need them.”