Something to remember, as we enter a new year: Yesterday's history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift, that's why it is called "the present". [Via]

Monday, January 25, 2010

The rush to aid Haiti

It didn’t take long for the opportunitist and others grifter types to emerge after the initial 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, centered about 15 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, the nation's capital, two weeks ago on January 12th, 2010 at 1 :53 PM (PST) 21:53:10 (UTC), immediately followed by a series of aftershocks but lessening in the last 7 days. Here’s a map of those aftershocks.

As predictable as the opportunitist, the internet was inundated with more than 400 internet addresses related to aiding Haiti using words such as "earthquake," "help," "aid," "victims" and "survivors."

New technologies are being used to help facilitate the fraud, from cell phones “text to” to emails, solicitation donations by way of credit card information. The emails are particularly treacherous since they solicit personal information and can contain some malicious software, spyware or other hazardous content.

There are legitimate and proven charities attempting to prove aid to Haiti. Donate smartly; if you are familiar with or used one in the past and you were happy with, go with them. Otherwise do your homework!

Some fundamental tips:

• Don't click on links or open any attachments including pictures contained within aid-related spam.

• Many organizations are in need; Check out the organization at sites for the Better Business Bureau (; the Foundation Center (, Charity Navigator (, or GuideStar (

• Be extremely cautious of Web sites and emails that ask for detailed personal information, i.e. Social Security number, birth date or bank information.

For those interested in the “Impact of 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Here's more information on the earthquake at USGS.

The City of Oakland Mayor’s office has a link titled “Ways Oakland Residents Can Help in Wake of Haitian Earthquake

And feel free to enjoy Benefit Concert organized by D’wayne Wiggins, who is offering proceeds from his upcoming "House Party Tour of Relief" in support of Haiti and has partnered with Corporate Development Specialist, Nina Swanson of the International American Red Cross to insure funds raised are sent directly to the American Red Cross for immediate distribution through the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, which was founded by actors Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte and social justice advocates Walter Riley, Esq.

This concert will be held this Thursday, January 28th, 2010; at the “Sweets Ballroom” 1933 Broadway in Downtown Oakland, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Hosted by Bay Area media personality Renel, Lady Ray of KMEL 106.1 and comedian Luenell, other entertainment include Oakland native Lenny Williams, Too Short, Erk Tha Jerk, the Pop Lyfe youth musical ensemble, and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.