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Long Island

LIers rally to organize supplies, aid to Haiti

Long Island is responding to the earthquake in Haiti, with schools, churches and residents raising money and collecting supplies. Doctors and pastors are traveling to Haiti to help with the recovery. Nassau and Suffolk officials are coordinating with community leaders to set up drop-off locations for supplies. And Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say they'll introduce a bill to lift tax-deduction limits on any donations to Haitian relief.

Officials at the Nassau chapter of the American Red Cross say they have received nearly 1,000 phone calls. And by texting, e-mailing and sending messages on Facebook and Twitter, Long Islanders have contributed to the millions of dollars raised by the Red Cross and other groups.

But with relief efforts just fully getting under way, Haiti needs more help. In particular, local groups say they need bandages and other medical supplies.

"There are a lot of people standing [on] the wayside and haven't got any medication," said Bishop Fernando Rodriguez, president of the Latin/African American Chaplains Association, who will travel to Haiti next week with ready-to-eat meals and bottled water from Nassau County. "One of the things that was told to me was that there are so many people who just want an aspirin, and we can't even give them an aspirin." With William Murphy

>>PHOTOS: Frantic rescue effort in Haiti | Deadliest recent earthquakes

>> LIVE: Twitter coverage of the scene in Haiti, from aid agencies, and reaction worldwide

>> VIDEOS: Latest videos from Haiti and on LI

>> MORE: Upload photos of loved ones missing in Haiti | Read more about LIers grieving and LI's efforts to help | Latest news from Haiti | Haiti's road to chaos: 2006 Newsday series


HOW TO HELP

* You can help immediately by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

* Wyclef Jean, a rapper and hip-hop artist from Haiti, urged people to text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 toward earthquake relief. Yéle Haiti is a grassroots movement inspiring change in Haiti through programs in education, sports, the arts and environment, according to its Web site.

* The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. The Red Cross has also set up a Web site to help family members find and contact relatives.

* You can also go online to organizations such as the Red Cross and MercyCorps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The FBI warned Internet users to be wary of e-mail messages seeking donations in the aftermath of the quake. People who want to send money or assistance should contribute to known organizations and should be careful not to respond to unsolicited e-mails, officials said.

Other Web sites accepting donations include:

-Haitian Health Foundation
-Hope for Haiti
-UNICEF
-International Medical Corps
-Beyond Borders
-AmeriCares

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