For immediate release | October 30, 2011

100 Days for Haiti – Matching gift challenge for Haiti disaster relief

CHICAGO - When disaster strikes, it is part of human nature to extend a helping hand. What if you could extend two helping hands?

A massive earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, affecting some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. What little infrastructure was in place was leveled by this immeasurable and incomprehensible tragedy.

Since the disaster, the American Library Association (ALA) has been committed to helping rebuild libraries in Haiti. Now, with the generous support of one of its members, ALA is quite literally “doubling down” with this effort – in the form of the matching gift challenge 100 Days for Haiti.

New Trier High School librarian Deborah Lazar has pledged to match any gift to the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund (for a maximum of $5,000) from now through January 2012.

This is a unique opportunity over the next 100 days to DOUBLE YOUR GIFT to help rebuild libraries that were damaged during the earthquake in Haiti.

You can make a qualifying donation on the ALA website now, or send your contribution to:

American Library Association – Haiti Library Relief Fund

c/o International Relations Office

50 E. Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60611-2795

To make a one-time $10 donation on your cell phone, text "alahaiti" to 20222

As a librarian, you know the power of libraries and the impact they can make. In Haiti, the impact of libraries takes on an even greater dimension: “The rebuilding of the library would mean life again for the people,” says Jean Midley, director of Petit-Goave’s Municipal Library.

The resurrected libraries would be the place where mothers, fathers, aunties, grandparents, babies, children and young adults could begin to imagine and live their lives again. Libraries would not only provide work and traditional library services, but would serve as visible symbols of hope and confidence in the future.

The recovery continues, but progress is slow. Haiti supports 20 municipal libraries, four of which, including the Municipal Library of Petit-Goave, were completely destroyed. Today, libraries like the one in Petit-Goave still operate essential services out of tents and temporary shelters. To see photos of the latest rebuilding and recovery efforts, please visit

Consider making your gift today on the ALA website and help restore the heart of many of Haiti’s affected communities. Make your gift now and DOUBLE THE IMPACT with the 100 Days for Haiti Matching Gift Challenge.

For additional information about the ALA Haiti Library Relief Fund, please visit or contact Michael Dowling, Director of ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO) at


Marc Huber