First responders heed Haiti’s call

Dana Lacey, Financial Post January 16, 2010

Less than 24 hours after a massive earthquake hit Haiti, Canada raised millions of dollars for relief efforts. Most will be sent to aid agencies like the Canadian Red Cross, which provides evacuation support, search and rescue, shelter and first aid for survivors. Here’s a look at some first responders:

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT

Donation Matching dollars up to $50-million

Recipient Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations with an established presence in Haiti.

“Canada will match the contributions of individual Canadians to eligible Canadian charitable organizations in support of humanitarian and recovery efforts in Haiti to a total of $50-million, which offers a potential of $100-million of humanitarian assistance,” said Lawrence Cannon, the Foreign Affairs Minister.

AEROPLAN

Donation: Two million Aeroplan Miles, matching

Recipients: Canadian Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres

In addition to donating one million corporate Aeroplan Miles, Aeroplan will match its employees’ individual contributions to the Canadian Red Cross until Jan. 31. Another million miles will go to Aeroplan partner Medecins Sans Frontieres, which runs both a surgical and a maternity hospital in Haiti. “Our thoughts are with all the people who have been impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. On behalf of our members and employees we hope this donation will help with the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts in the region,” said Vince Timpano, president, Aeroplan.

MINING INDUSTRY

Donation: $900,000

Recipients: Canadian Red Cross.

At the Mining Hall of Fame dinner held in Toronto on Thursday evening, corporate and individual donors raised $900,000 for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

WAL-MART CANADA CORP.

Donation $100,000

Recipient Canadian Red Cross Haiti Earthquake fund

All 314 Canadian Wal-Mart stores are accepting donations while the company awaits direction from the Red Cross. U.S. parent company Wal-Mart Stores Inc., among the first on the scene after Hurricane Katrina, will donate a half-million dollars. At the Red Cross’ request, they are also sending pre-packaged food kits valued at $100,000 to Haiti. “We immediately implemented a national campaign to give Canadians from coast-to-coast a way to contribute much needed funds to those who need our help,” said David Cheeseright, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Canada.

DESJARDINS

Donation $300,000

Recipient Canadian Red Cross

Desjardins has run international development projects such as microfinance and IT support in Haiti for over 15 years. “We share the pain of the Haitian community and offer all our support during this difficult period,” said Monique F. Leroux, president and CEO of Desjardins Group.

SCOTIABANK

Donation $250,000

Recipient: Canadian Red Cross

Scotia has four branches and 80 employees in Haiti, where it has operated since 1972. “Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti and hope this donation will help alleviate some of the misfortune suffered during this difficult period. We are very thankful that all of our employees are accounted for and safe. We will work around the clock to restore access to cash and accounts as soon as possible,” said Pat Minicucci, senior vice-president, international banking, Caribbean, Scotiabank.

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