HA! Here is your New York City government at work ladies and gentlemen. Behold the letter distributed via email by Speaker Christine Quinn’s office seeking help from the public for the people of Haiti, a noble gesture for sure, only they didn’t bother to update the form letter from the last natural disaster to strike the island nation:

From: “[email protected]
To: [redacted]
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 12:03:19 PM
Subject: Important Notice from the NYC Council

September 19, 2008

Dear New Yorker,

I am writing today in hopes that you might join me in spreading the word about efforts currently underway to provide badly-needed relief to hurricane victims in Haiti.

As you know, this past month, three deadly hurricanes left more than 500 dead and tens of thousands homeless in Haiti before barreling into the U.S. and wreaking havoc and destruction along the Gulf Coast.

On September 18th, following similar relief efforts to our neighbors in the South, Governor Paterson directed the opening of the New York Army National Guard Armory in Brooklyn to allow for the collection of donated relief supplies for the hurricane-stricken island nation of Haiti.

Items in high demand for shipment to Haiti include:

* Bottled water (packed in cases or six packs at a minimum). Single bottles are inappropriate donations since they would have to be repackaged.
* Rice (dried in bags)
* Beans (dried cans only)
* Sterno canisters
* Tarpaulin (of any size, preferably 10 ft. x 10 ft. or larger) – to be used for both roofing and flooring
* Nylon cord (100 ft. rolls)
* Hygiene items limited to toothbrushes, toothpaste, mild soaps
* New underclothes (children sizes)
* New hand towels

Soldiers from the New York National Guard will be on hand to receive, sort and prepare donations at the following locations:

Bedford Armory

1579 Bedford Avenue at Union Street, Brooklyn

Sept. 18 – Sept. 26, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building

163 West 125th at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Harlem

Sept. 18 – Sept. 26, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As the aftermath of these hurricanes continues to unfold, it’s important that we do what we can to help alleviate some of the pain and suffering in Haiti.

The Council and I have already begun reaching out to our constituents to encourage them to collect and donate. If you could please pass this information along to the members of your community and encourage them to do the same, we’d deeply appreciate it. Working together, we can help make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people.

In closing, I would like to thank all of our state and city elected officials, especially Governor Paterson, Council Members Mathieu Eugene and Larry Seabrook, and the members of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, for heading up this important relief effort.

I would also like to thank our brave men and women of the New York National Guard for once again stepping in during a time of crisis to help those in need.

For more information about the Haitian relief effort, please call (212) 681-4010 or e-mail [email protected] .

Best wishes.


Christine C. Quinn


New York City Council

About 20 minutes later, someone must have alerted Quinn’s office to the mistake and they sent out the correct letter:

From: “[email protected]
To: [redacted]
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 12:25:32 PM
Subject: Haiti Relief Efforts – PLEASE NOTE CORRECTION

January 14, 2010

Dear New Yorker,

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, this past Tuesday Haiti was hit by a major 7.0 earthquake that devastated its capital, Port-au-Prince. The extent of the damage is truly shocking. Members of New York’s large Haitian American community are understandably anxious about their loved ones and the state of their homeland.

We at the NYC Council are working closely with Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and Haitian American leaders across the City and State to help respond to this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who’ve been affected by this devastating earthquake.

The Haitian government with the assistance of the international community is in the process of rescue and recovery, as well as assessing the damage and determining what will be needed to assist survivors and rebuild the country. New Yorkers who want to help those in Haiti are encouraged to donate to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Donations to this fund can be made safely and securely in the following ways:

* Online at https://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml
* By phone at 212-788-7794 or call 311
* Mail checks, with Haiti Earthquake Relief written in the memo, to:

Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
One Centre Street, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10007

The Mayor’s Fund will direct contributions to reputable, well-established organizations such as the American Red Cross that are working on the scene.

Of course many New Yorkers want to contribute food and other supplies directly to the victims. We’ve been told that because of conditions on the ground in Haiti it would be difficult to receive such supplies and to deliver them where they’re most needed. The magnitude of the problem is just too great and too complex. So again, we urge New Yorkers who want to help to make donations to the Mayor’s Fund. You can also donate directly to the Red Cross by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or online at www.redcross.org .

The U.S. State Department has set up a hotline for people trying to reach family members in Haiti. That number is 1-888-407-4747.

Again, our thoughts and prayers are with all those who’ve been affected by this devastating earthquake. To those Haitian Americans in NYC, if there’s anything we can do to help you, please let me know.


Christine C. Quinn


New York City Council

Yeah, let’s all send our money to the ever-efficient New York City government for it to be managed and distributed to help the people of Haiti. Again, it’s a noble gesture, but maybe it’s just a better idea to give the money directly to the Red Cross.