Americans Give Record Amount to Help Haitians

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Americans are showing record generosity to help the island nation of Haiti.

Since the earthquake on Jan. 12, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports U.S. charities have taken in more than $275 million.

That's more money than during the first week after Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami disaster that struck different regions of the Indian Ocean in 2004.

Citizens across the country are finding ways to help the victims any way they can from dropping off bags of clothes, food and bottled water on the doorstep of the Haitian Embassy in Washington to volunteers at a local church in Minnesota who are packaging bags of rice and dried vegetables.

"The need is great. It was great before the earthquakes, but now it's even greater," said Judy Highum, one of the church volunteers. "They need a lot of help, and we have to do what we can to help them. Everybody has to help them."

"I know for sure someone's going to be eating that," said Peter Highum, another volunteer.

"We cannot be speechless. We've got to open up our mouths. We've got to open our hearts, our hands, and to begin to help rescue those that, frankly, can't rescue themselves," explained Joe Champion, the church's senior pastor

Also in Minnesota, local residents are doing their part and collecting donated shoes. And in Colorado, the shoe company Crocs is sending 30,000 pairs of new shoes to people in Haiti.

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