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Dear members of the Hofstra community,
As you know, a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010. The full extent of the damage is still not known, but it is clear help is needed to rebuild the infrastructure and provide basic necessities such as food, water, medical care and shelter.
Haiti is a country rich in history and culture and it also has close ties and connections to the United States. There are an estimated 125,000 Haitians living in the five boroughs, and more than 400,000 living in New Jersey, Long Island, and Pennsylvania. The most recent United States Census highlights that three Long Island communities, North Valley Stream, Uniondale, and Elmont are in the top twenty U.S. communities with the largest Haitian and Haitian American populations.
At the current time, the government of Haiti as well as experts in crisis management have made it clear the most effective way to help is through monetary donations to recognized organizations working with the response and rebuilding efforts.
Members of the Hofstra community have direct ties to Haiti, so it is critically important that we work together to support the relief efforts. A committee of students, administrators and faculty is being established under the leadership of Dean Peter Libman. The committee will be developing a Hofstra for Haiti" campaign to raise awareness of the various ways to support the relief effort.
The first leg of our campaign is to assist in raising much-needed funds. I have committed that the University will match the first $25,000 of what our community raises in the Hofstra for Haiti" fund, enabling our community to combine our efforts and double our collective gift. If you would like to make a donation to the Hofstra for Haiti" relief fund, please send your check to the Dean of Students office, made out to Hofstra University – Hofstra for Haiti," no later than February 12, 2010. We will immediately release the funds, which will be split between the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. All donations are fully tax-deductible.
The first Hofstra for Haiti" initiative will take place this Tuesday, January 19th, at the men's home basketball game vs. George Mason University at 7pm in the Mack Sports Complex. The Nassau County Chapter of the American Red Cross will be on hand to collect monetary donations.
If you are interested in working with the committee please feel free to contact the Dean of Students Office (E-mail or 516-463-6913).
We are keenly aware that such a tragic event can raise a host of thoughts and emotions. If you would like to speak to someone about your thoughts or feelings related to this catastrophe, please contact Student Counseling Services at 463-6791, or any of the Chaplains Offices.
Collectively as a community, we can show our Pride and make a difference. Please join me in this effort.
IRS Resolution toward Haiti donations
People who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti can claim these donations on the tax return they are completing this season, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted Jan. 22. Only cash contributions made to these charities after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card.
"Americans have opened their hearts to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman." This new law provides an immediate tax benefit for the many taxpayers who have made generous donations."
Taxpayers can benefit from their donations, almost immediately, by filing their 2009 returns early, filing electronically and choosing direct deposit. Refunds take as few as ten days and can be directly deposited into a savings, checking or brokerage account, or used to purchase Series I U.S. savings bonds.
The new law only applies to cash (as opposed to property) contributions. The contributions must be made specifically for the relief of victims in areas affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Taxpayers have the option of deducting these contributions on either their 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both.