HAITI January 17, 2010


More very soon on my up and down week trying to dodge disposable plastic–which in my bad moments, I feel is covering the earth.

Over everything, all week I have been listening to the news of Haiti. For such a vulnerable country to be hit with a disaster of such magnitude is a hard thing to take in.  What can we do, here safe in our homes and towns, with plenty of dringking water and hospital access?

I called my good friend Miriam Sauls who has very close connections in Haiti.  For many years she and her church, have been working with an orphanage in Port-au-Prince.  She reports that the main building in Port-au-Prince is totally destroyed.  Fortunately everyone escaped the building.  She says organization has another building up the mountain where handicapped orphans live.  One part of there building is still standing and all are living there as I write this.  Miriam is feeling very fortunate for everyone’s safety.

“What can we do, I asked her?

Miriam seems to think that the main crisis is right now is medical.  Of course Haiti will need long term support for their recovery in the next days and weeks and years.

I am attaching information from Miriam about this orphanage and about Paul Farmer’s organization, Partner’s in Health. If you have read the amazing book “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, then you know about the amazing work of his organization.

Below are links and information about these two  worthy organizations

If you heard George W. last night he said.  “Give money, that is what is needed, “ or something like.

Any way, I am passing on this information to any of you interested in knowing more about them.

The St. Joseph Family is supported in the U.S. by Hearts with Haiti, a non-profit (501c3 status) organization. Their website (www.heartswithhaiti.org) has a link to make an earthquake emergency donation.

The St. Joseph Family was started twenty-five years ago to bring five children off the streets and offer them a Christian family life. Now there are three homes serving more than 80 children. Graduates from the first home, St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, run a home for disabled children called Wings of Hope outside Port-au Prince and a home for young boys called Trinity House in the small coastal town of Jacmel.

Because the leadership of all three homes and the boys themselves believe in giving back in gratitude for having been brought off the streets, the St. Joseph Family has reached out beyond the immediate family to provide opportunities for the poorest of the poor children in their neighborhoods. There are now 32 girls from a nearby slum in Port-au-Prince attending school, 8 neighborhood children participating in the community art center, 72 children attending the Lekol Sen Trinitie, 25 children in the Saturday Restavek program in Jacmel and 5 day students at Wings of Hope.

The main home, St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, collapsed during the earthquake. It served as a guest house and dance theater, which were the entire family’s two main sources of revenue. So now not only are those 20 boys who lived at St. Joseph’s homeless, the revenue which supported the extended family is no longer available. They are in desperate need of help with literally hundreds of people directly or indirectly depending on them.

The Wings of Hope home for disabled children is also seriously damaged except for one room where all the children and caretakers are huddled. Care for these children is very supply intensive and the supplies are rapidly running out.

Partners In Health (PIH) works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world.

PIH has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. Started by Paul Farmer, the rganization is one of the most respected non-profits in the medical field. They urgently need your support to help those affected by the recent earthquake.

Go to their site (http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti) and click the donate button to give to earthquake relief.

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