What matters most in all disasters is the relief supplies already in the pipeline. Disaster relief works through networks. When a disaster occurs, the resources closest to the disaster will rush to aid. The donations made for the disaster will often be used to replenish the resources.
As our hearts go out to the victims of the Haitian disaster, I thought I would remind readers that the best action for helping the diaster victims is to make donations for the relief effort through your local Red Cross (or other favorite disaster relief) organization. Such donations have the dual effect of aiding Haitians in need and strengthening the entire network.
Conversely, marketing efforts to raise funds in the wake of disasters are often dubious.**
The earthquake in Haiti left millions in need. As people look at the confusion donation options, I strongly suggest making donations to international relief networks with a strong reputation like the Red Cross or Catholic Relief Services (80% of Haitians are Catholic).
Donations through local charities have the effect of strengthening the overall network while providing targetted aid.
**Charities, such as the Haitian Habitat for Humanity are worth following.