Make sure your money aids Haiti and Haiti text donations take weeks to process

As pictures and video of the devastation in Haiti rolls in, individual donations are soaring. To make sure your contribution makes the most impact, we have some tips for you.

First, let’s take a look at what organizations individual donations are going. to. AmeriCares estimates people have contributed $2.5 million dollars. Catholic Relief Services says individuals have donated $4.9 million. Oxfam reports receiving $3.2 million, while the Red Cross has raised $7 million and Unicef has received $6 million from individual donors.

Other organizations have raised large sums including Mercy Corp., $2.5 million, outpacing funds raised for Hurricane Katrina. World Vision has raised $4.34 million — individuals gave $3.94 million of that amount with an average donation of $219.

Be skeptical of people who represent themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites. [Read the full article]

Texting a donation to Haiti relief efforts feels like an immediate way to help, but it could take up to three months for your $10 to land in American Red Cross coffers.

Mobile donations have raised more than $7 million for the Red Cross thanks to a Twitter campaign that went viral shortly after it launched Tuesday at midnight.

But the disaster relief agency wants to assure the public that this time lapse will in no way delay the aid it is providing to Haiti in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude quake that struck late Tuesday.

“The processing delay doesn’t mean we’re waiting,” said Jonathan Aiken, spokesman for the Red Cross. “Our policy is always to work in good faith and assume people will make the contributions they pledge.”

The Red Cross already has cash on hand, so it’s putting that money to work now and will replenish its coffers once the mobile donations are officially processed, Aiken said. [Read the full article]

Let’s say your resolution is to cut your spending. Vowing “I’m not going to take the credit card out of my wallet as often as I did last year” is too vague to be effective. Instead, decide on a specific monthly outlay that you won’t exceed.

If you pledge to pay down, say, $50,000 worth of debt by the end of 2010, you’re likely to give up in frustration. To increase your chances of achieving your goal, make it more attainable – and set smaller, intermediate goals along the way. For example, resolve to put an extra $500 a month toward debt repayment.

Each time you hit your monthly goal, record the details in a notebook or on your handheld. You’ll get a glow of accomplishment that will help you stay on track, plus a reminder of how little steps add up to big ones.

Turns out, the creators of Weight Watchers were onto something: Meeting regularly with others who cheer your progress – and notice when you backslide – is a powerful motivator. [Read the full article]

Two small banks failed Friday night, making them the second and third banks to close in 2010.

Regulators shuttered Town Community Bank and Trust in Antioch, Ill., and St. Stephen State Bank in St. Stephen, Minn.

Customers of both banks are protected, however. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which has insured bank deposits since the Great Depression, currently covers accounts up to $250,000.

First American Bank in Elk Grove Village, Ill., will assume the failed bank’s $67.4 million in deposits and will purchase the Town Community Bank and Trust’s $67.6 million of $69.6 million in assets. The bank entered into a share-loss agreement with the FDIC on $56.2 million of the failed bank’s assets. The FDIC said it will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

The single branch of Town Community Bank and Trust will reopen as a branch of First American Bank.

First State Bank of St. Joseph in St. [Read the full article]

You may also like...