Linda Kislowicz, the CEO of UIA, thinks the numbers may go over the $1-million mark in the near future.
“Let’s just say money is still coming in. The response has been very steady,” she said. “I think at some point it will probably dwindle. People respond to what they perceive is an emergency.”
The UIA will work with IsraAID, an Israeli-based search and rescue team, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which helps communities worldwide. Among its initiatives, the JDC raised funds for incubators, which were needed for the Israel Defence Forces’ field hospital in Haiti.
The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto raised $514,000 since Monday.
Howard English, the vice-president of communications at the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, hasn’t seen a decline in donations.
“The response has been amazing. Within the first half hour of the [Hope for Haiti Relief] fund being established, we raised about $10,000. That pace has kept up throughout,” he said.
“All you have to do is watch TV for two minutes to see the combination of homelessness, hunger, sickness and desperation [in Haiti] to understand why it’s so important to contribute.”
The money raised for Haiti relief will go to IsraAID through the UIA.
Federation CJA in Montreal raised $250,000 as of last Friday.
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg raised $34,099 as of last Friday.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver raised about $48,000 as of last Friday.
Ve’ahavta: the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund raised about $200,000 as of Monday and has started distributing funds to the House of Hope Orphanage and the Israeli relief workers in Haiti.
According to Sarah Zelcer, the director of international projects and education at Ve’ahavta, the response from the Jewish community has been strong throughout last week, but donations are beginning to slow down.
“People are probably starting to focus on longer term rebuilding issues,” she said.