In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti which is predicted to have claimed over 100,000 lives, local organizations, including the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, are working to assist with the relief efforts.

The Red Cross announced that it is accepting donations for Haiti earthquake relief at its Santa Monica chapter, 1450 Broadway, during weekday business hours.

All funds collected will go to the Red Cross effort for Haitian earthquake relief. Checks and money orders should be made out to “American Red Cross – Haiti Relief.” Cash and credit cards are also accepted.

Donations can be made directly to the Santa Monica chapter on its Web site, www.redcrossofsantamonica.org/.Donations also can be made through Twitter linked to the chapter’s Web site and by text messaging “Haiti to 90999.” Donations are tax deductible.

The agency Web page has information about Haitian relief efforts and on ways to locate missing family members or friends.

Chapter officials say that to date, there have been no call-ups for local volunteers beyond highly trained and very experienced disaster volunteers who have worked other major disasters.

Several local businesses have also contributed support to Haitian relief efforts through fundraisers, according to Red Cross. The Pourtal Wine Bar on Santa Monica Boulevard donated 25 percent of its January 19th wine tasting sales to the Santa Monica chapter, while the California Pizza Kitchen on Wilshire Boulevard donated 20 percent of all January 19th sales including take-out and catering to the Santa Monica chapter’s effort.

The American Red Cross organization has pledged an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by the January 12th earthquake which struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Thousands of youths in Los Angeles are expected to rally together for a two-mile run on Santa Monica Beach Saturday, January 23rd to show support for the millions of people affected by the Haiti devastation.

Film and television actor Josh Duhamel helped organize the “Youth Run 4 Haiti” event and joined forces with the American Red Cross of Santa Monica to inspire and empower youths to get involved.

Duhamel has created a social network site for youths to sign-up for the run and to offer encouraging messages of support for the Haiti victims. Information, www.youthrun4haiti.com/.

Runners will assemble on Santa Monica Beach at Beach Park #1, where Ocean Park Boulevard meets Barnard Way at 9:30 a.m. to register for the run and pay a minimum $10 entrance fee. Children of all ages are invited and encouraged to join in the run, which will start at Beach Parking Lot #1, go up the beach for one mile and return to the start area.

All monies collected for the run will go to the American Red Cross effort for Haitian Earthquake Relief.

Information, www.redcrossofsantamonica.org/ and click on “Youth Run.”

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