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Helping Haiti

Lots of people are finding all sorts of ways to help the victims of the massive earthquake in Haiti. But, since we'll assume that you want the money you donate to actually get to people in Haiti, here are a few tips.

The New York Times has an alphabetical list of nationwide organizations you can choose to help - but do be aware that many charities spend large portions of donations on overhead or administrative fees. Guidestar is an organization that rates nonprofits' efficiency in this regard, and should be an early stop as you're deciding where to go.

We'll take this moment, though, to point out two specific charities worth considering:

The first is Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien, and is a Maine-founded charity helping Cap-Haitien, a sister city of Portland. 

The second is Wyclef Jean's charity, the Yele Foundation, which you can to online or via text message:Text the word “Yele” to 501501 to give $5, which will be added to your next phone bill.

Another caution is provided by the Huffington Post, which reports that because so many people donate by using their bank or credit cards, the financial sector reaps a massive benefit when people are generous - as much as a quarter-billion dollars a year.

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