By James Warner
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Live5 News and Harris Teeter Supermarkets are teaming up to collect donations for the American Red Cross International Response Fund. The Fund urgently needs monetary donations to buy rescue and relief supplies for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. By 10 am Saturday, contributions had totaled more than $118,000 for the relief effort.
Shoppers can pick up cards in $1 and $5 increments at the checkout register at Lowcountry Harris Teeter Supermarkets. The donation will be added to your grocery bill.
In addition, Harris Teeter Supermarkets are contributing $25,000 to the International Response Fund.
"When disaster strikes our customers and associates want to lend their support and make a difference," said Fred Morganthall, President of Harris Teeter. "The Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will be an easy way for customers to make a donation the next time they are in our stores."
The Red Cross federation says it estimates there have been 45,000-50,000 deaths in the Haitian earthquake.
Spokesman Jean-Luc Martinage says the Haitian Red Cross came up with the estimate based on information from a wide network of volunteers across the quake-stricken capital of Port-au-Prince.
Martinage says it also is a number that government ministers have been using.
He said Thursday that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies has yet to determine the actual number of deaths.
Aid from around the globe is showing up in earthquake-devastated Haiti, but not without problems.
It took six hours to unload a Chinese aid plane because the airport lacked the needed equipment. That could mean possible bottlenecks as more relief flights reach Haiti. The airport was damaged in Tuesday's massive quake.
Ship deliveries are impossible. The capital's port is closed because of damage.
Trucks carrying police and U.N. workers are often stuck in traffic because roads are clogged with pedestrians and vehicles.
Officials from a telecommunications provider says calls to emergency services aren't getting through because systems that connect different phone networks aren't working.