The news and photos from Haiti and the Dominican Republic are almost too terrible to imagine. Those of us who are atheists know that there is no god who is going to provide relief for those who are suffering there. Prayer will do no good. We must act to help those in need.
According to moveon.com, "Three million people have been affected by Tuesday's earthquake, and the Red Cross estimates as many as 50,000 may be dead. Survivors are digging through the rubble with their hands in a desperate attempt to rescue those who are trapped. With water and medical supplies in short supply, and the Haitian government paralyzed, international aid efforts in the next few days will be critical to prevent more human suffering."
According to screencrave.com, MTV is working with George Clooney to host a telethon to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake. The event, which has a tentative air date of January 22nd, will air on all MTV affiliated networks including BET and VH1.
As usual, beware of individuals and unsolicited emails claiming to be collecting funds for the relief efforts. You can find an article HERE about disaster relief scams.
The American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity-watchdog group, has a list of top-rated Haiti relief organizations HERE. This organization gives charities grades of A+ to F and recommends donating to those that receive an A or B grade based on the portion of their budget actually going to the program and other factors.
I have listed below those non-religious charities recommended by the American Institute of Philanthropy with A grades. (I didn't have time to research them all, but these seem to be non-religious. Please let me know if I am wrong.) We know that many religious charities do a great deal of good, but many of them come with religious "baggage."
American Red Cross (A-)
Mercy Corps (A-)
Operation USA (A)
Oxfam America (A-)
Skip the prayers. Make a donation.