WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement and information regarding the earthquake in Haiti.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and the thousands of my constituents who have family members in the region. This is an unimaginably devastating time in an already challenging environment, and we are committed to providing the assistance necessary to save and improve as many lives as possible.”

With the situation on the ground changing frequently, the best source of information about family members in Haiti is through the State Department Operations Center. Americans seeking information about missing family members in Haiti should call 1-888-407-4747 or visit the State Department website.

In response to the tragedy, Congressman Himes has also signed onto a proposal that will grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians currently in the United States. TPS can be granted to nationals from a country where “there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster…resulting in a substantial, but temporary disruption of living conditions in the area affected.” Granting TPS status will help Haitian individuals work legally in the U.S. and send money back to family members affected by the crisis.  Over time, these remittances from individuals often become more significant than foreign aid sent by governments.

Individuals and organizations wishing to assist the relief effort in Haiti are encouraged to make monetary donations as most organizations do not yet have the capacity to handle volunteers or in-kind contributions. Suggested methods of donations include:

  • Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross charged through your cell phone bill.
  • Visit www.savethechildren.org to make a donation to Save the Children’s on-the-ground relief effort in Haiti.
  • Visit www.americares.org to make a donation to AmeriCares’ medical relief effort.
  • Visit www.redcross.org to donate online to the Red Cross Haitian relief effort.
  • Visit www.usaid.gov for a list of NGOs and instructions on how to help.