Blue Jays aiding Haiti relief effort

Blue Jays aiding Haiti relief effort

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays organization and its ownership are doing their part in aiding the relief efforts for the nation of Haiti -- devastated by a catostrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday.

Rogers Communications Inc. announced on Wednesday that it has launched a mobile giving campaign to allow customers to donate funds aimed at helping the efforts in Haiti. The Blue Jays and the Jays Care Foundation are determining how they can also aid in the recovery process beyond just a monetary donation.

On Thursday, Blue Jays reliever Dirk Hayhurst, who uses the handle @TheGarfoose on the social networking site Twitter, announced that he has created a personal fundraising page through the MercyCorps organization. Fans can donate funds through Hayhurst's giving page on the MercyCorps Web site.

"As far as my Haiti Relief initiative goes, it really shouldn't be that surprising," Hayhurst wrote in an e-mail. "One of the responsibilities and joys of my very public job is to use it for causes like relief, awareness and well-being. I have no delusions that my jersey somehow separates me from people in pain or need. Indeed those with voices should always strive to speak for the voiceless.

"Currently, I am unaware of what the Jays or my other teammates are doing in connection to Haiti. I am sure they are each operating in ways they feel best. As for me, I am doing the best I can with what I have, which admittedly, is much less than the people in Haiti could use. Baseball, big league or otherwise, is truly a trivial thing when compared to the tragic loss of human life. It is in times like these that it can become more then a game, it can become a vehicle of mercy -- a far more valuable contribution to the world than rousing of cheers and boos."

Rogers Wireless and Fido customers can help the efforts in Haiti by donating to Partners In Health: Haiti and other Haitian relief organizations. Customers of both mobile companies can text the message "HELP" to 1291 to donate $5 CDN to the cause. Rogers has teamed with ONEXONE to ensure that all donations go to the Partners in Health initiative for Haiti.

Beyond the donations through texts, Rogers Communications and the Rogers family will donate $250,000 in funds and goods to the Partners in Health organization for the recovery process in Haiti.

"We at Rogers extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the earthquake in Haiti," Rogers Communications deputy chairman Edward Rogers said in a press release. "In support of Partners in Health and other relief organizations in Haiti, we encourage our customers to aid relief efforts via our text-to-donate campaign."

Also on Thursday, Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball pledged an immediate donation of $1 million to support the cause. The donations are being coordinated through UNICEF, which is aiding victims by providing necessary supplies to assist with recovery efforts, including clean water and sanitation, medical supplies and temporary shelter.

The contribution, an extension of MLB's "Going Beyond" efforts, is being made on behalf of Major League Baseball, its 30 clubs, MLB Network and MLB is encouraging concerned citizens to visit the UNICEF Web site and make a donation as well.

"Major League Baseball believes it is crucial to help the Haitian community in this time of need," Selig said. "It is difficult for us to imagine the catastrophic toll this earthquake has taken on the people of Haiti, a land not far from the United States. We hope this contribution will help aid in the relief efforts and we encourage our fans to make a donation as well. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all who have been affected by this unimaginable natural disaster."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.