The current disaster in Haiti feels very close to home for two reasons: I live in the Caribbean and Haiti, although not an immediate neighbour, is a neighbour nonetheless. I also met many Haitians during my frequent stays in South Florida. Some became my friends, and several characters in my second novel, which is set in Miami, are reflections of these very real people.
When this type of disaster strikes the worst feeling is the helplessness. So many people want to do something, but aren't sure how to go about it.
MSNBC has posted a list of links to charitable organizations active in Haiti. One of them, Yele Haiti, is the brainchild of Wyclef Jean. You can text Yele to 501501 to donate $5 via your cellphone. Another option for anyone interested in helping immediately is to text HAITI to 90999 and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.