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Mayor Bloomberg begs for Haiti donations

Send money - fast.

That was the message conveyed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a news conference at a Flatbush church Wednesday as he spoke about the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti.

Surrounded by New York Gov. David Paterson, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other officials, Bloomberg implored New Yorkers Wednesday to open their checkbooks and make donations during an appearance at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 2530 Church Ave.

>>PHOTOS: Chaos and tragedy after Haiti hit by 7.0 earthquake

"This is one of the worst tragedies to befall any country," Bloomberg told the gathering.

"What you have to understand - there is no communication, you can't make a phone call," the mayor said of the devastation of Haiti's infrastructure by the 7.0 magnitude quake that has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Only last week, Kelly was in Haiti on official business. Wednesday he said that Haitian society, which was already fragile, is now on its knees. The commissioner noted that the "formidable" presidential palace, one of the strongest buildings in all of Haiti, had crumbled.

The New York City Police and Fire departments have a combined urban search and rescue team ready to go to Haiti if called upon by the U.S. federal government. The team has more than 200 members.

>>PHOTOS: Chaos and tragedy after Haiti hit by 7.0 earthquake

>>VIDEO: Click here to see footage from the wreckage


* 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.

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

Other Web sites accepting donations include:

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

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