For me, I cannot think about the 1 million+ people that remain homeless. It is far too big for me. No one is asking my opinion or the opinion of any Haitians or Haitian orgs in our area. I live in a small village, not the huge devestated capital. I’m a nurse, not a heavy equipment operator. I work in a small family-run mission, not connected to a huge NGO or governments. I can’t contribute to the big picture. I fix the big problems. I can’t voice my willingness to help because anything that I could do to help would be just a drop in the ocean of need. I’m not sure if some of you are feeling the same way or not. It’s a bit frustrating and depressing, but I refuse to sit back and do nothing. So I will do something and I hope that you choose to do something too. No matter how little, how mundane, or how simple our somethings will mean the world to those few that we are able to help. We can’t rebuild Haiti, but what we can do is help people here and there get back inside by building them aduquate shelter. What we can do is calm their fears by sharing new building techniques from engineers and architects. What we can do is provide funds for cement, iron bars, blocks, tin, wood, and other construction materials. What we can do is be encouraged that our somethings are assisting Haitians to be safe, stay healthy, feel loved, and get back to living. What we can do is inspire excitement, bring joy, and restore hope. By working with families, standing to assist, coming alongside, sharing ideas, and rejoicing with the Haitian people as they realize their dreams come true, our somethings can truly become successes. We have several specific needs for various families that have been affected by the earthquake that we will be posting in the weeks to come, but I wanted to share one that Tanya has presented on her blog.
Fed and Brit came to our clinic with similar medical conditions that they have had since birth. The operation to correct this problem was not available in Haiti. Medical visas, host family, airfare, and host surgeon/hospital were arranged for them by RHFH, The Medical Advocacy Team, American Airlines (Miles for Kids in Need Program) and many more people and organizations. They had their surgeries, healed well in Jeff and Tanya’s home and care, and came home in January 2009. They return to the clinic each month and are doing very well medically and adjusting back with their families.
The earthquake damaged their houses. Both are sleeping outside. Fed’s 2 room house will have to be torn down and rebuilt. Brit’s house isn’t really even her house. Her mom, step-dad, and 2 other kids stay in one room of a family house. Fed’s family wants to rebuild their 2 room house with a porch. Brit’s family wants to build a new house for their family. Both families are willing to invest money, materials, and labor into their dream. They need assistance with block, cement, nails, iron bars, and other building materials. Tanya has started to raise funds to help purchase materials here in Haiti and pay Haitian workers to build. It’s a win-win situation = shelter + jobs. Please visit here to see how you can help Fed and Brit and their families. You can also visit past posts on her blog to follow their medical journey while they were in the US. Thanks!