Large Atlanta nonprofits such as CARE, MedShare International and Habitat for Humanity, and smaller efforts mounted by local organizations continue to lead important recovery work in Haiti.
A.B. Short, the executive director of Decatur's MedShare International, arrived with a team of doctors last Friday in the town of Jimani on the border with the Dominican Republic. More than 1,800 people are in the town hospital that was built for 100, Short reported. The doctors are having to perform many amputations because crushed limbs left untreated for days have become infected. A nearby church has been set up as a recovery area.
For photos and updates from Short, check MedShare's sites on Facebook and Twitter. (www.medshare.org)
MedShare continues to prepare thousands of pounds of medical supplies, with seven shipments headed out in the next few days.
Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, landed in Haiti Tuesday for an early assessment for long-term recovery efforts.
Habitat is providing assistance with cleanup and giving out shelter kits which include basic building materials and tools. Families can make immediate repairs to damaged homes with the kits. (www.habitat.org)
CARE on Tuesday was distributing water, water purification powder, high protein biscuits and hygiene kits amidst reported security problems that continue to be an issue in Port-au-Prince. (www.care.org)
"We are targeting hospitals and health care centers to get it to those most in need," said CARE spokeswoman Stephanie Libby.
Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta may become evacuation destination
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Atlanta could be a destination for tens of thousands of American being evacuated from the devastated island, and several agencies say it could also be a destination for Haitian children.
The Georgia Department of Human Services is looking for French- or Creole-speaking families to host Haitian children.
The Atlanta chapter of the nonprofit International Rescue Committee, which works with immigrants, is rallying their French- or Creole-speaking volunteers and their legal staff. Executive Director Ellen Beattie said the organization will help Haitians who are here legally to apply for extensions to their U.S. stays. The federal government has given the go-ahead to the extension program.
"We have been alerted by our state refugee coordinator that Hartsfield will be a significant point of entry for [Americans] who may be repatriated as well as Haitians seeking parole and asylum and protection," Beattie said.
Churches continue to drive relief efforts
The Latter Day Saints are using the Bishops' Storehouse Services center in Atlanta as a point to collect and ship food, medicine and relief supplies to Haiti. John Hopkins, the manager, said they expect to pack and ship about 80,000 pounds of supplies Thursday on an Atlanta flight provided by Islamic Relief, a U.S. faith-based nonprofit.
Many churches in metro Atlanta took up collections individually or as denominations Sunday for Haiti relief.
Pat Chivers with the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta said that a team of four priests is making arrangements to travel to Haiti to perform masses, last rites and other services.
A medical team from the Catholic Church of Saint Monica in Duluth is also on the ground in Haiti. Their updates can be read at www.saintmonicas.com
Paste magazine tries musical fund-raising drive
Atlanta's Paste magazine has started a fund-raising "Songs for Haiti" vault, where donors can download songs from dozens of artists from Ludacris to Switchfoot for a single donation of any amount. (http://songsforhaiti.org) Money raised will go to Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.
Andrew Young: "This is more like a European reconstruction"
Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor and U.S. Ambassador, has fielded numerous calls because of his international and political connections and previous development and relief work there. Young said he is not mounting efforts himself, but is acting as a facilitator to get interested people working together.
"Everybody wants to act quickly, but this is more like a European reconstruction," Young said. "This did as much damage as the bombing did in Germany [during World War II]. This is a 20-year project."