On Jan. 12, 2010, a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti, an island country located in the Caribbean, resulting in mass casualties and extreme damage. The recovery and cleanup efforts are currently taking place, with many countries, including the United States, providing aid and assistance to help the hundreds of thousands of victims with support, including medical treatment, food and water.
Many spas are looking for ways to help the victims of the disaster, and your help is sorely needed. For example, Blu Water Day Spa in Kensington, Maryland, is donating $15 of the price of selected services to the Red Cross, and is also holding a Haitian Relief Food and Clothing Drive to help the Haitian victims.
If your spa or company is active in helping the relief efforts, please share your participation with Skin Inc. magazine by joining the Discussion on our Facebook page. Just search for Skin Inc. magazine, become a fan, go to "Discussions" and choose the topic "Spas Helping Haitian Earthquake Victims."
Support is desperately needed, as is evidenced by President Barack Obama's plea included in a recent letter: "Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I encourage those who can to reach out and help. It's in times like these that we must show the kind of compassion and humanity that has defined the best of our national character for generations."
Following is a list from cnn.com of reliable and effective charitable agencies, vetted by CNN journalists for credibility. These outlets are all prepared to welcome your support for the Haitian earthquake victims.
American Jewish World Service
The agency supports grassroots, community-based organizations in remote locations whose needs are not always met by larger organizations. To donate to its Haiti relief efforts, go to www.ajws.org/haitiearthquake/ or mail a check to 45 W. 36th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018. Make checks out to American Jewish World Service, and in the memo section write "Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund." You may also call 1-800-889-7146 or 212-792-2900. The group will use the funds for immediate needs, such as psychological and social support; health services and education on hygiene and disease prevention; mobilizing volunteers in Haiti to help with rescue and aid distribution; and aid to the Haitian Dominican community, who can coordinate with the Dominican government for greater support; in addition to long-term rebuilding plans.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross' primary focus during the initial response of an emergency is feeding, sheltering and supplying any other basic needs. To donate: Go to redcross.org, hit donate now button at top and then International Response Fund. You also can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the International Response Fund. The money will go directly to relief efforts in Haiti. Or call 1-800-Red-Cross.
This nonprofit disaster relief organization delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. To donate, call 1-800-486-HELP or go to americares.org. Donations will go toward medicine and medical supplies and for expenses for providing that medical aid.
This humanitarian organization's main focus is to fight global poverty, specifically by empowering marginalized women and girls. To donate to the Haiti relief fund effort, go to care.org or call 1-800-521-CARE. Money will go toward food, water and sanitation, shelter and emergency health response.
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is an aid agency that works with emergency relief, micro-finance, AIDS/HIV relief, agriculture, water and sanitation, among other projects in countries around the world. To donate, go to crs.org, or call 1-877-HELP-CRS. You also can text RELIEF to 30644. You will receive a text message back with instructions on how to donate. You can send a check to Catholic Relief services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. Write "Haiti earthquake" in memo area. The money will go toward immediate needs, which includes water, food, hygiene kits, bedding and basic cooking utensils, among other items.
Direct Relief International
Direct Relief provides medical attention to those in need on an ongoing basis and in emergencies. Monetary donations go toward medical aid, supplies and equipment in Haiti. To donate, go to directrelief.org or call 805-964-4767 and 800-676-1638, or go through Google Checkout.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity provides affordable, safe shelter for low-income families and people in need. Money donated for Haiti relief efforts will go toward recovery and rebuilding. To donate, go to habitat.org or call 1-800-Habitat.
International Medical Corps
This emergency response agency focuses on health in emergency situations. Monetary donations go toward purchasing medical supplies, medicine and emergency kits and transporting these supplies. 1-800-481-4462 or go to imcworldwide.org.
International Relief Teams
The nonprofit organizes volunteer teams to provide medical and non-medical assistance to victims of disasters and poverty. To donate, go to irteams.org or call 619-284-7979. Checks can be made out to International Relief Teams, 4560 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite 2G, San Diego, CA 92120-4309. The money will be used for medical supplies, medicine and other relief supplies, and to support volunteers heading to Haiti for relief efforts.
Medical Teams International
The Christian global health organization sends volunteer medical teams and supplies to those in the midst of disaster or poverty. Monetary donations will go to supporting the medical teams being sent to Haiti and to the cost of shipping the medical supplies donated by corporations. Donate by going to medicalteams.org and clicking on the "Donate Now" button, or call 1-800-959-HEAL (4325) or send a check to Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.
Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)
The humanitarian organization delivers medical care to people caught in crisis. Donations to its Haiti relief efforts will go toward repairing the obstetrics and trauma hospitals in Haiti that were damaged in the earthquake. They also will go to transporting an additional 70 doctors and medical supplies to the island in an effort to set up makeshift emergency medical response centers. To donate, go to doctorswithoutborders.org or call 1-888-392-0392.
The organization provides humanitarian assistance and economic opportunities in the world's toughest places, specifically those dealing with poverty, conflict and instability. To donate, go to mercycorps.org. Money will go toward immediate humanitarian needs in Haiti, which may include, food, water and temporary shelter.
The international relief agency provides funding for reconstruction and development aid to communities that have experienced disasters, disease and poverty. For its Haiti relief efforts, the agency plans to use donations for health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements. To donate, go to opusa.org or call 1-800-678-7255, or mail a check to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
Save the Children
The independent organization focuses on children in need in the U.S. and globally through programs for health and nutrition, child protection and education. To donate, go to savethechildren.org, or call 1-800-728-3843 or 203-221-4030. Donations will go toward purchasing relief items, such as hygiene kits, family kits (pots, pans, food preparation items) and tarps.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army's mission is to provide food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort during disasters. To donate money, go to salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Make sure you designate the donation for "Haiti Earthquake." Money will go to the Salvation Army in Haiti, which will determine the country's immediate needs, including water, food, medicine and transportation.
The nonprofit delivers boxes of supplies to families of up to 10 people. The boxes contain a tent and essential equipment to use while individuals are displaced or homeless. To donate, call 941-907-6036 or go to shelterbox.org.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
The national committee for UNICEF is responsible for the organization's fundraising. UNICEF uses the money for health care, clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief. To donate, go to unicefusa.org or 1-800-4-UNICEF.
The organization lifts people out of poverty, beginning with disaster response and ending when families can live sustainable lives. To donate to its relief effort, go to worldconcern.org or call 1-866-530-5433. You can also mail checks to 19303 Fremont Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98133. Please specify that the check is for "Haiti Disaster Response." Money will go toward water supplies, shelter, blankets, distribution of food and long-term needs, such as job training, education, loans and home construction, among other projects.
World Food Programme
The food assistance agency's main focus is to fight hunger worldwide. The organization is working to bring food to Haiti. To donate, go to wfp.org.
This organization, founded by Wyclef Jean, creates projects to improve the quality of education, health, environment and community development in Haiti. To donate to to its Haiti relief efforts, go to yele.org or text YELE to 501501 to donate $5.
For additional charitable organizations, see Impact Your World on cnn.com.