At least three major publishers are contributing to relief efforts in Haiti following last week's devestating earthquake. Random has donated $100,000; Bertelsmann has donated 100,000 euros; and News Corp., which owns HarperCollins, has donated $250,000. And Simon & Schuster is authorizing digital resellers—including Audible.com, Cateeslanguageworld.com, Pimsleuraudio.com, and Pimsleurmethod.com—to give away its Haitian Creole program free, from now until March 31.
Random House has made a $100,000 donation to relief efforts in Haiti, to be split between the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund and Partners in Health. “So many of us are moved and disturbed by the death and devastation,” wrote CEO Markus Dohle in a release. “Being able to provide financial support to the relief effort goes to the heart of who we are as a company and as individuals.”
Partners in Health has been working in Haiti for 20 years and is led by Paul Farmer, a doctor who was the subject of Random House author Tracy Kidder’s 2003 Mountains Beyond Mountains. The RH trade paperback edition, which was released in a new edition last year, has sold more than one million copies. On January 14, the New York Times published an op-ed by Kidder about Haiti and Partners in Health.
Additionally, Bertelsmann AG has donated 100,000 euros to worldwide children’s relief organization Plan International. A spokesperson for the company said other Bertelsmann divisions are making their own contributions as well. Random House is also matching dollar for dollar, up to $1,000, any charitable contributions that its U.S. employees have already made or will make to an established tax-qualifying Haitian earthquake relief organization until June 1, 2010. This is in addition to and distinct from the company’s per-annum charitable matching grants of up to $2,500, to which every U.S. employee is eligible.
Simon & Schuster’s Pimsleur, which publishes foreign-language learning programs, is offering free downloads of its Haitian Creole language program. The company is authorizing digital resellers—including Audible.com, Cateeslanguageworld.com, Pimsleuraudio.com, and Pimsleurmethod.com—to give away its Haitian Creole program from now until March 31. Chris Lynch, executive v-p and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio, said, “By providing our programs to volunteers, we hope to remove any language barriers that may stand in the way of the volunteer efforts in Haiti.”
S&S’s parent company, CBS Corp., set up a matching fund, wherein employee donations to any organization will be matched by a CBS donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
HarperCollins is also working through its parent company, News Corporation, on donating to the relief effort. News Corp pledged $250,000 to be divided between the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. In addition, the company is matching, dollar for dollar, contributions made by U.S.-based employees up to $250,000 for the next four weeks to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Real Medicine, Salvation Army, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Yele Haiti.