Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/27/2010 02:48:40 PM PST

HIGHLAND – The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on Wednesday donated $1.7 million to the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders to help with relief efforts in Haiti.

The funds will help the groups provide everything from food to hygiene items, and will also allow the organizations to train Haitians to rebuild and recover from the disaster.

“We identified these groups as having resources on the ground and being able to help with relief efforts,” said tribe spokesman Jacob Coin.

The tribe donated $1.5 million to the Red Cross and $200,000 to Doctors Without Borders.

Haiti is recovering from a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and caused extensive damage to buildings on Jan. 12.

San Manuel chose the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders because they are groups who are in the trenches helping disaster victims, and because of their reputations.

“They’ve got a long track record to provide the assistance when a disaster of this magnitude strikes,” Coin said.

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