Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Providing Hope for Haiti

It is hard to believe that it has been over a month since the earthquake hit Haiti. Just seeing the images on the news is a constant reminder of how this country is suffering. Despite all the relief efforts, it is prevalent that the country is still in complete devastation. I first heard of the earthquake at work through a co-worker. My workplace consists of a melting pot of employees. We have people from all over the world working at the facility, including those from Haiti. My heart broke when I found out that several co-workers had family members in Haiti and had no idea of their whereabouts. Some eventually found out they had lost a brother, a father, cousins, aunts, and uncles. One co-worker, in particular, has her whole family living in Haiti including her husband who runs an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. Impacted by these distraught men and women who waited patiently to hear anything from their loved ones, I felt that I had to do something to help the relief efforts.
For the past six weeks, I have been collecting donations from co-workers to aid the earthquake victims. Through my involvement with the Rotary Clubs as Miss Staten Island and now as Miss Richmond County, I knew they would be doing something as well for the relief efforts for Haiti. I contacted the Staten Island Rotary Club and found out that they were collecting donations that will be distributed to the Rotary Clubs in Haiti, which are endeavoring to help those in need. The Rotary Clubs in Haiti are paying for plane fuel so special flights can bring needed goods, medical supplies, and medical specialists to the island country. The Rotarians will be unloading and distributing the supplies that are being donated. This is expected to be a long-term assistance effort.

In aid of the earthquake victims in Haiti, the Staten Island Rotary Foundation has announced it will match up to $2,500 in donations received by the organization. I have been able to raise $625 in donations for the Rotary Clubs in Haiti. The Staten Island Rotary Club matched the donation, bringing the total to $1,250. This was the first donation the club has received thus far. It was rewarding to be able to organize my own relief effort and make a difference for a country in desperate need for hope.

Oh, and in case you were wondering...Yoli, my co-worker, found out several days later that her whole family was alive and that the orphanage was still intact with all the children surviving.

At the Staten Island Rotary Club

Speaking to the Rotary

Presenting the check to John Amodio, Vice President of TD Bank on Staten Island and Rotarian