Volunteers Prepare for Chicago Helps Haiti Telethon

Phone bank open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday

By Christian Farr and BJ Lutz
|  Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010  |  Updated 5:47 PM CDT
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A woman with family ties to Haiti will be among the roughly 1,500 volunteers taking calls Thursday during an all-day telethon to raise money for the devastated country.

Nicole Claude came to Chicago from Haiti 35 years ago.  She received word from a cousin who lives in Miami that an aunt of theirs had been killed. 

Another cousin is among the hundreds of thousands who are sleeping on the streets, are without basic supplies and are struggling to find basic medical care.

"I cannot imagine losing everything, but most importantly, [my cousin] has her life," Claude said. 

The Chicago Helps Haiti relief drive will be held between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday. During those hours, volunteers from Hewitt Associates will staff a toll-free phone bank to take donations.

Nearly all of Chicago's television and radio stations will air the announcements. Money raised will go to the American Red Cross Haitian relief effort.

The McCormick Foundation will be matching $.50 to every dollar raised, up to the first $1 million.

"I look forward to being there early morning and be of service and provide whatever I can," Claude said.

Complete Coverage:  Devastation in HaitiHelp Haiti: Where You Can Donate

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