So Haiti’s in trouble. Like, a crapload of trouble. And the world is coming together to do whatever they can. Food and supplies aren’t particularly useful because of the high cost of transporting and distributing them. Instead, the thing charities and relief organizations need is money.
In a perfect world, a massive international relief organization would simply respond, making use of a hefty budget to set up some emergency shelters while everyone’s homes are rebuilt using insurance money. Of course, that’s not the case (partially because international aid tends not to win many elections), so regular people are being asked to open their wallets and help out.
While the most obvious thing to do would be to give to the Red Cross, various groups are organizing fundraisers or other schemes to try to squeeze even more money out of us.
After a few minutes of searching, here’s what I’ve found is happening in Montreal over the next week and a half:
- Jan. 17: The Imani Family and Full Gospel Church is hosting a benefit at 4pm.
- Jan. 17: A benefit concert at Club Lambi featuring Plants & Animals and Amy Millan
- Jan. 17: The Consulat on Bleury is hosting a fundraiser
- Jan. 18: Astral Media radio stations (which include CJAD, CHOM, CJFM, CITE and CKMF in Montreal) are using today to send out messages encouraging everyone to donate. (Hopefully the campaign will get slightly more creative than just sending out “please donate” messages on all their radio stations.)
- Jan. 18: Chick Pickin’ for Haiti at Grumpy’s Bar (1242 Bishop, 9pm).
- Jan. 19: A Tweetup is being held at Casa del Popolo, with lots of interesting prizes being drawn
- Jan. 19: Some Lester B. Pearson School Board schools have a “Hats for Haiti Day” where students can wear a hat of their choosing if they donate a dollar or more. How rebellious. Any suggestions on a hat to really push the envelope on this?
- Jan. 20: A benefit concert at the Gesù called l’Union fait la force to benefit Medecins sans frontières. Features Ariane Moffatt, Bïa, Kodiak, Echo Kalypso, Doriane Fabrig, Claude Lamothe, Ian Kelly, Pépé et sa guitare and Papa Groove. Tickets $30.
- Jan. 21: Simon Lacroix is organizing a special screening of Total Crap at Club Soda.
- Jan. 21: A benefit concert at the Telus Theatre. Tickets $20.
- Jan. 21: Another benefit at Le Consulat, this one involving salsa.
- Jan. 22: CFQR draws from among donations to UNICEF to give away a luxury vacation to the Bahamas, a prize that was originally just a listening contest.
- Jan. 22: TVA is airing a Quebecor-sponsored benefit concert, which will also air on Radio-Canada, V, Télé-Québec, Musique Plus and MusiMax, the same day George Clooney hosts a telethon on MTV (U.S. and Canada), CTV, MuchMusic, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, VH1 and CMT.
- Jan. 22: Cinema Politica is hosting a special screening of Aristide and the Endless Revolution (a documentary about Haiti) at Concordia.
- Jan. 23: The Société Bolivarienne du Québec and Action Haïti Montréal have a benefit at Ayllu for the Haitian Red Cross.
- Jan. 26: Malajube and others at the Studio Juste pour rire (via Hour), $25
- Jan. 29: Voices for Haiti, a hip hop and poetry fundraiser by the McGill Muslim Students’ Association.
- Jan. 29: Masala Sono at Club Lambi
- Jan. 30: A fundraiser at Club Soda.
- Feb. 1: Artists for Haiti at Sala Rossa
Feel free to suggest others in the comments below. Agenda Public has a list of similar events across Quebec.
Text it and forget it
For those of you who are too fucking lazy to punch your credit card number securely into a website and prefer to have your cellphone company bill you based on a fee for a text message you’ve sent to some unverified five-digit number you heard about through your friend’s Twitter, there are plenty of options for that, though few work in Canada (that “90999” thing you heard about on the Colbert report doesn’t work here – something CTV didn’t relay to its viewers when it rebroadcasted the show on two of its networks). The cellphone companies accept $5 to 45678, and Plan Canada at 30333 (in both cases text “HAITI”). But maybe I just made that up, or copied the number down wrong.
Really, just give it to the Red Cross. Don’t trust your friends, don’t trust people on the street, don’t trust celebrities, don’t trust businesses and don’t trust anyone saying your money goes toward Haiti relief.
Journalists: Donate your overtime
The earthquake in Haiti, ironically, had a positive impact on my bottom line. The paper was expanded in size to fit all the extra news coverage, and I was called in for an unscheduled shift on Thursday night. Rather than profit off the misery, I’m donating my salary for that shift to the Red Cross.
I know there are plenty of journalists and other media types who read this blog, and plenty of them are working more than they usually do because of this craziness. I’d encourage you to do the same – you’re not losing money, you’re working harder doing what you love, and it’s for a good cause.