Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Help for Haiti

“Cupboards were nearly bare before the winds started whipping, the skies opened, and this seaside city filled like a cauldron with thick, brown, smelly muck.”- Marc Lacey

Storms heighten Haiti’s suffering, Charlotte Observer, September 12, 2008.

I used that quote this fall to demonstrate to teachers how image-driven writing should include specific nouns ("cupboards, seaside city, cauldron"); image driven adjectives ("thick, brown, smelly muck"); and figurative language ("winds whipped") to grab a reader's attention.

I didn't know then that I would be able to participate in an opportunity to help the people of Haiti. As followers of this blog know, I generally blog about issues related to literacy. Today I'm taking a detour to let you know what I did yesterday instead of write.

Covenant Day School, a ministry of Christ Covenant Church, announced last week that they were working with the church to provide volunteers, medical goods, and clothing to help fill up a 53-foot trailer. The school specifically helps a school in Gonaives and some of the Crocs, medical supplies, and school supplies were going directly to orphans there.

When I arrived yesterday afternoon, this is what the trailer looked like on the inside:

I had the opportunity to not only interview Della and her father, but I also spoke with Susie Austin who has traveled to Haiti several times. She is returning in February to give hygiene training in three areas: hair care (so they don't get scabies), oral hygiene, and using Clorox to disinfect the children's bedding. Bed wetting is a big problem because there is no indoor plumbing and the children are afraid to go outside at night (tarantulas and the dark are two common enemies). Shoes are extremely important because without them, the children frequently get worms (intestinal parasites) and sand fleas.

A high point of the afternoon was the delivery of donated Crocs. Volunteers of all ages helped to unload the FedEx truck.

The shoes came in lots of colors and sizes, and the volunteers who had been to Haiti were excited about seeing the children's faces when they received them.

By the end of the afternoon, the trailer looked a lot different than when I had arrived.

Click here for more information about ministry to the Haitians or here for specific information about helping orphans worldwide.Technorati Tags:
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