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What happened in Haiti has left a mark on us all. It was a truly devastating event of epic proportions, and it affected the poorest nation in the entire Western Hemisphere. They were already having a tough time prior to the now infamous earthquake, and now things are even harder. In an effort that could only be mirrored by the force of the earthquake that hit Haiti, the whole world has united in order to give the victims of this disastrous event a fighting chance. All sorts of rescue teams came in from all four corners of the globe. Those who cannot go there to help, like me, can help using other means. The most popular and effective one is making donations.

PokerStars, a highly reputable and trusted poker site, is giving all of their players a chance to do this in an awesome way.  PokerStars has set up dummy tournaments of various buy-ins, which will not actually take place. Once you register, the money collected from your buy-in will be shipped to Haiti using official channels, and sent to the actual organizations that are there to help. Of course, the charity tournaments do not charge any rake. The best part, PokerStars will be matching every donation dollar for dollar, which means if you donate $10, PokerStars will add $10 of its own and send off $20 to Haiti in your name. How cool is that?

FlopTurnRiver wants to make sure that their forum members know about this great opportunity to help the people of Haiti, and that they take advantage of it.  In fact, FlopTurnRiver has agreed to match a percentage of the collective total of donations given by their forum members.  That means PokerStars won’t just be matching your donation, but FTR’s too, making the total amount of money sent to Haiti up to 400% of the collective contribution.  Just report to FlopTurnRiver what amount you have donated by the night of January 29th and they will match a percentage of the reported total to PokerStars.  Donations can be reported in the FTR Forum.

With your wallet you can help fund the teams of brave hearts who are at ground zero helping the countless victims who have been left in truly hopeless situations. With your wallet you can help bring some level of hope back there and aid in the rebuilding effort and save some of the victims from starvation and infectious diseases.

Naturally, there are quite a few ways to donate funds for helping Haiti, in addition to PokerStars. One of the more popular ones is to text “Haiti” to 90999, and then reply to the confirmation email to donate $10. Another is to show up at the American Red Cross and hand over the monies to them. Several musicians and other kinds of artists have organized donation events, which are shows whose proceedings will be shipped off to Haiti. At least that is how the theory goes. There are lots more organizations who will be able to help, and to who you can donate money. Here is a makeshift list: UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, MADRE, Action Against Hunger, Mercy Corps, Partners in Health, The United Nations Foundation Central Emergency Response Fund, and the International Rescue Committee. There may be more, of course, but these are the ones that have been commonly heard of in some way or form during this time of crisis.

Some believe that a charity event involving musicians and singing is in some way farcical, because you are having fun and jamming to your favorite songs while the people who you are trying to save are still having an unbelievably tough time. It would be better to be more direct and ship them the money immediately, for them to get the required aid without you having to receive anything in return, in that case being an artistic performance. Also, if you show up at the doorstep of any of these organizations, many of whom you may have not even heard of prior to this Haiti disaster, how do you know for certain they are indeed legit? How do you know it’s not Joe, Bob and Mary who get together and put up a sign saying “DISASTER RELIEF: DONATE HERE” just to make a quick buck? How do you know the money that you send over to help people in Haiti will actually reach the people in Haiti and somehow help the people in Haiti, and not end up in the wallet of some scammer? Also, if you are not based in the USA, Europe or any other higher power country, many organizations are simply logistically out of reach, and the risk of being scammed is actually quite higher.

PokerStars again seems to be the way to donate without having to worry that you are being scammed.

To take advantage of this, all you have to do is go to the Tourney > Special tab in the main lobby and you will see the Haiti tourneys bolded in blue. If you are feeling especially lazy, you can simply bring up the Tourney Filter and type “Haiti”.  Buy-ins for the charity tournaments range from $1 up to $1,000. And you can rest assured that there will be eagle-eyed individuals who will keep a daily tally on the amount of people registered in the charity tourneys in order to ensure the actual amount donated matches what it should be, to ensure fair play on PokerStars’ part. That is what makes it even more awesome to donate via PokerStars: it’s legit, it’s monitored for fairness and integrity and is truly easy to execute without even leaving your home.  Then, visit the FlopTurnRiver Forum to report your donation and make those dollars stretch even farther.

So, if you have not donated yet, or even if you have already donated and need to report that donation to FTR, take advantage of this awesome “promotion” to be a good Samaritan and ship some money to help the needy today! 9,000,000 unfortunate souls will be grateful to you forever!