Heywot Tadesse says when she first heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, “it kind of really hit me.”

So on Thursday the 15-year-old used part of her lunch hour to go to the Canadian Red Cross in Burnside and give a donation.

“I just think that it’s really big,” said Tadesse, reflecting back to when she was 11 and hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area.

“And now I can actually do something about something.”

Tadesse wasn’t alone at the Red Cross on Thursday. Officials say it has been busy since the magnitude-7 earthquake struck on Tuesday, with them extending their business hours to accommodate people looking to make cash donations in person.

Donations can also be made online at redcross.ca or over the telephone.

“It’s been busy since just before we opened, actually,” Simyon Ilin, a volunteer with the Red Cross in Burnside, said Thursday.

Dartmouth’s Barb Powell, who has regularly donated to the Red Cross in past disasters, said the reason she is giving to Haiti is to “treat others like you’d want to be treated.”

“If it happened here, then we’d like somebody to help us out,” Powell explained.

As of late Thursday, a Red Cross spokesperson said they have raised over $2 million across the country for the Haiti relief effort, with about $389,000 of that coming from Atlantic Canada.

The numbers do not include government donations nationwide.