WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The appeal went out shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday: visit the web site www.ProgressivesforHaiti.org and donate to Doctors Without Borders, a group with an effective track record and one of the largest working clinics in Port-au-Prince.
Organized by USAction's online arm, TrueMajority.org, the initial groups comprising "Progressives for Haiti" included Credo Action, Democracy for America, Center for American Progress Action Fund and MoveOn, and were rapidly joined by others. More groups were still coming on board Friday – a complete list is available at www.ProgressivesForHaiti.org.
The groups quickly rallied their networks: TrueMajority and the other large national activist groups fired off millions of emails; Center for American Progress began filling up the Twitter-verse with tweets; Demos and others alerted the blogosphere; messages started flying on Facebook. Every channel of online communication was employed, and members started responding with donations.
Within the first hour, $100,000 came rolling in. And by late Friday afternoon, progressives in every state in the U.S. contributed a combined total of $1,023,374.
Jennifer Tierney, director of fundraising for Doctors Without Borders, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support from many of the nation's leading progressive groups.
"Doctors Without Borders is incredibly grateful for your support for our emergency relief efforts in Haiti," Tierney said. "We are currently reinforcing our teams on the ground in order to respond to the immediate medical needs and to assess the humanitarian needs that we will be addressing in the months ahead. This is only possible because of the generosity of donors like you. On behalf of our medical team and all our patients in Haiti, thank you."
Progressives for Haiti is a cooperative effort among progressive citizens' groups to provide immediate assistance to the people of Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake. Any group is welcome to participate by simply circulating this donation link: http://www.progressivesforhaiti.org. No one involved is keeping any of the money raised – donors are "passed though" to groups like Doctors Without Borders – groups that are doing the real work on the ground. "We hope that the reputations of all of the groups involved will allay any fear about the legitimacy of this fundraising effort," said Matt Holland, USAction's online director.
QUOTES FROM SOME PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:
Matt Holland, director of TrueMajority, USAction's online project:
"USAction members know that working together to create practical solutions to common problems is the best way to live. And the people of Haiti have a huge problem and supporting experienced doctors who are already on the ground and saving lives is a practical solution."
Michael Kieschnick, president, CREDO Mobile:
"We are pleased that the members of CREDO Action could respond quickly to the devastation in Haiti and commit to supporting reconstruction which builds a more just society."
Adam Blickstein, communications director, National Security Network:
"Helping the people of Haiti during a tragedy of this magnitude transcends ideological and partisan lines. It unites us all in the common cause of making sure that the millions of people affected by the Earthquake can endure through their most vulnerable moments. But our efforts shouldn't stop here. Ensuring long term, expanded access to medical care as well as supporting economic growth will go far helping the people of Haiti rebuild from this heartbreaking event."
Alan Rosenblatt, associate director of online advocacy, Center for American Progress Action Fund:
"We are all very happy to put our networks to work to help the Haitians in this time of their dire need. And we are humbled by the power of our email and social networks to raise so much money, so fast."
Jim Dean, chair, Democracy for America:
"It's times like these that Americans everywhere can see the progressive movement is about more than just moving America forward, it's about creating and supporting a united world."