Canadian aid organizations say thank you for unprecedented response to
"Canada for Haiti" fundraiser

TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - In one of the largest fund-raising weekends in Canadian history, television networks, celebrities, corporations, charities and thousands of Canadians came together to pledge $13.5 million for Haiti. With the Canadian government matching donations dollar for dollar up to $27 million in total was raised in two days by the "Canada for Haiti" concert, broadcast live by CBC, CTV, Global, MTV, Much Music and National Geographic Channel this Friday, January 22 and rebroadcast on Saturday, January 23.

"We have seen an unprecedented response by Canadians to this humanitarian crisis in Haiti," says Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada, one of the nine organizations involved in the broadcast including the Canadian Red Cross, CARE Canada, Free The Children, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada, Save the Children Canada, and UNICEF Canada. "We are extremely grateful to Canadians for their continued generosity and to all the organizations and individuals who made the "Canada for Haiti" event such a resounding success.

"The networks deserve tremendous thanks," says Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of Unicef Canada. "Competitors in normal times, our leading Canadian broadcasters came together as partners on this event and pooled their tremendous creativity and talent to make this kind of unprecedented Canadian giving possible."

Many generous corporations stepped forward to contribute to this initiative. During the course of 4 hours in the first night alone of fundraising, over 1,400 phone agents fielded 75,000 calls from across Canada and donated more than 6,000 hours of volunteer time. Thanks to RBC, ScotiaBank, TD Bank, Telus, Facebook Canada, IBM, Jolera and Navantis. There are dozens of heart-warming stories of generosity being reported by the teams who worked the phone lines, summarized best by one volunteer who said, "This is a very proud moment to be Canadian! Overwhelmingly, there is a deep desire amongst us to help the Haitian people." The online response to the broadcast was incredible with over 100,000 people joining the Canada for Haiti Facebook fan page (facebook.com/canadaforhaiti) in a period of 48 hours.

Funds raised will be used for relief and long-term rehabilitation work in Haiti as we continue to coordinate our efforts with governments, the UN and other agencies and leading players in the response effort on the ground in Haiti to reach families and children affected by the most devastating natural disaster to hit the country in over 200 years.

Canadians can continue to support the Canada for Haiti effort by making donations through canadaforhaiti.com or calling 1-877-51HAITI.

"We are so thankful to Canadians for everything they have already done to help with the relief efforts in Haiti," says Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada, "and we can't stop now. The situation in Haiti as dire as it may seem, has already spawned a process of not just rebuilding Haiti as it was, but of engaging Haitians in "re-imagining" Haiti as it could be. If Canada continues to stand by Haiti with the kind of generosity we have seen in the last ten days, we can turn disaster into opportunity for the families and children of one of the poorest nations on earth."

    
    -   Canadian Red Cross/www.redcross.ca
    -   CARE Canada/www.care.ca
    -   Free The Children/www.freethechildren.com
    -   Oxfam Canada/www.oxfam.ca
    -   Oxfam-Québec/www.oxfam.qc.ca
    -   Plan Canada/www.plancanada.ca
    -   Save the Children Canada/www.savethechildren.ca
    -   UNICEF Canada/www.unicef.ca
    -   World Vision Canada/www.worldvision.ca/haiti
    

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