Tri-State groups gear up to help Haitian earthquake victims

By Dan Wells – bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Several Tri-State organizations are gearing up to help the nearly 3 million people affected by an earthquake in Haiti.

The volunteers at Matthew 25 Ministries in Blue Ash have been working for hours assembling large donations and care packs to go to the victims in Haiti. They are collection nonperishable food items, personal care and cleaning products and cash - basic necessities for people who now have nothing.

"Right now we are focusing all of our efforts into Haiti," said Wendell Mettey with Matthew 24. "We are holding back to some of our supplies we were going to send to other countries so we can get things there as soon as possible."

In Kenwood, the Restavek Foundation, which provides education and help to several hundred children living as child slaves in Haiti, is looking for how it can aid in the recovery.

"We believe in the next few days that water is going to be extremely crucial, and we worry about these children that already spend most of their day fetching the water, what kind of conditions they have to deal with and the situation that they might be put in," said David Fatherreen with the Restavek Foundation.

The charity is focusing on providing relief for the kids they've been sponsoring, most of whom live in extreme poverty.

In Newport, Mike Van Hook, a teacher at Newport High School has traveled to Haiti for several years, and says these humanitarian efforts are crucial.

"When a catastrophe or this level strikes, everything is gone and survival hour by hour is what they are facing," said Van Hook.

Seventeen members of the Good News Gathering Church in Hillsboro are facing that survival effort. They were on a mission trip when the earthquake hit and were caught just north of the worst devastation.

"Some of our options we're looking at are taking them to an airport called Cap Haitian which is north on the north coast of Haiti, and possibly taking a chartered airplane to get them there," said Brad Barber, a member of the Good News Gathering Church.

The Xavier University community is responding to this tragedy by supporting Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS is well-established in Port-Au-Prince, has strong ties with domestic development organizations, and is committed to supporting both immediate relief services and the necessary long-term rebuilding and development processes.

Xavier has connections with Haiti that have been established through various academic initiatives and the first-year common reading program, amongst others.

The effort to help those in need is massive, and thanks in part to Tri-state residents, some of that needed help is on the way.

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