The Cherokee Ministerial Association is raising money to help Pastor Jean Paul, a Haitian minister who operates a congregation, a school and an orphanage near the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Association President the Rev. Larry Baker said the group has long been active with aiding Paul in his mission in Haiti. In the past, it has collected shoes for Paul's congregation as well as other Haiti mission projects.
"We'll be there for the long haul," he said, adding the funds raised will help supply food, water, clothing and medicines to those in need.
Baker is asking churches to take up offerings this Sunday and on Jan. 31. His goal is to collect several thousand dollars to send to Paul, who so far has had to bury more than 200 members of his congregation.
Baker also said everyone in the community is welcome to donate, noting that 100 percent of the funds raised will go to Haiti.
The association also has two benefit events planned to raise money for the cause.
A music benefit is at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a New Orleans-style dinner is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30. Both events will be at Baker's church, Prayer and Praise Christian Fellowship at 6409 Bells Ferry Road in Woodstock.
Organizers are asking for an admission donation of $5 for the concert and $10 for the dinner, will all proceeds going to the relief efforts.
The Rotary Club of Canton is inviting its members and the greater community to do "service above self" to help those in Haiti, said President Peter Gleichman.
Gleichman said the funds will be used to purchase medical supplies for the disaster relief and to purchase ShelterBoxes.
The club leadership on Tuesday voted to donate $1,000 as a club for the purchase of medical supplies.
Club members and their families so far have donated $3,900 toward the purchase of ShelterBoxes for Haiti relief.
Each 49-gallon ShelterBox contains: one 10-person tent, vinyl-insulated sleeping mats and light-weight thermal blankets, two two-gallon plastic water carriers, one pack of 180 water purification tablets, a collapsible trenching shovel, a 164-foot rope, mosquito netting, 10 ponchos, 10 plastic bags, a multi-fueled cook stove, eating utensils and enamel plates and cups and a children's activity kit.
"I'm confident we'll be raising more," he said.
Gleichman said 100 percent of tax-deductible donations made by members and the greater community will go toward the relief efforts.
St. Elizabeth Orthodox Mission in Woodstock has donated 100 assistance packages to send to Haiti in conjunction with the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).
The IOCC mandated each package contains one gallon of plastic bags, a hand towel, one washcloth, a comb, either a metal nail file or a metal nail clipper, a bar of soap, a toothbrush and six Band-Aids.
The Rev. Father Frederick Watson said the packages were mailed on Tuesday, and the church will be collecting money on Sunday to donate to the IOCC.
Cherokee County schools are also raising funds for relief efforts in Haiti. Several schools are allowing students to wear hats, which normally are banned, if they make a monetary donation to the cause.
Freedom Middle School leaders said they hope to raise $1,000 with a Hat Day there on Jan. 29. Students can make a $1 donation to wear a hat on that Friday.
"It's just so awful," Principal Karen Hawley said of the disaster in Haiti.
Creekland Middle School will conduct a Haiti Hat Day on Friday, said Principal Dr. Deborah Wiseman. Students can bring either a $2 donation or two nonperishable canned food items to donate to the effort.
Dr. Wiseman added the school will also teach Helping Organize Peace Everywhere (HOPE) lessons related to Haiti.
At Mill Creek Middle School, students on Friday participated in Hats for Haiti fundraiser for which they donated $1 to wear hats. The money will be donated to the country via the nonprofit organization Food for the Poor or to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Linda Chapman, media clerk at Mill Creek, said $175 was raised with the initiative.
Reinhardt College is also donating funds to UMCOR. College chaplain the Rev. Leigh Martin is asking students to send checks to her by Feb. 10.
Donations to UMCOR also can be made through local United Methodist churches.
The faith-based organization Haiti Cheri Harvest Life Ministries based in Holly Springs is taking donations to help provide relief in Haiti.
The donations will go toward getting food and clothing for the victims, said Dan Merrefield, the organization's president.
Haiti Cheri has been involved in Haiti for a number of years. It mainly works in the rural northern portion of Haiti and administers help in four main areas: ministry, education, economic development and medical relief.
Merrefield said the organization received $5,000 last week, adding he hopes the organization can meet its goal of $150,000.
"We have faith that it'll come in," he said of the cash donations.
The disaster has been tough for Oris Guillaume of Woodstock to watch.
Guillaume, the founder and CEO of Haiti Cheri, said he has friends and relatives who have been directly affected by the earthquake.
He lost many extended family members, and his wife lost her step-grandmother in the earthquake.
A member of the organization's board of directors who lives in Haiti lost a cousin in the earthquake.
The Wednesday after the earthquake, Guillaume said he cried all morning and has been glued to the television to watch the news coverage.
"It is tough," he said. "I've never seen anything like this before."
Guillaume said he's receiving calls around the clock from people in Haiti begging for him to come and assist in relief efforts.
Guillaume, who was born in Haiti and has been living in the United States since 2000, said he's hoping people do everything in their power to help his fellow countrymen.
"People desperately need hope and help," he said. "I want people to pray for Haiti."