We have all been shocked and saddened by the magnitude of the devastation in Haiti as a result of Tuesday's earthquake. Ironically, it hit at a time when Haiti was beginning to show signs of recovery from the disaster of 4 hurricanes in 2008.
Many of you have contacted HVO to see how you might provide assistance. It is wonderful to work with so many caring people who are dedicated to international assistance. At this point, however, HVO is not planning to send volunteers to Haiti.
There are many organizations with a long history of working in Haiti which are already on the ground, with staff in place. Many of them have emergency supplies stockpiled and have the skills and network in place to provide care in emergencies within Haiti. Should any of these organizations already operating in Haiti request HVO's help in identifying personnel with specific health skills, we will be glad to assist. We will share any such requests with you and other memberss of our network as soon as we receive them.
At this point, however, the best way you can help is to contribute to those organizations which have been based in Haiti and are delivering services. A list of such organizations is available through InterAction or you can make a contribution through Global Impact's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund and the funds will be given to agencies providing assistance.
Over the years, HVO has worked with H˘pital Albert Schweitzer in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti. Denise English and Charles Gulas, HVO volunteers, were working with the rehab technicians training project when the earthquake occurred. She writes that they are all safe and "the hospital is providing an incredible organized and compassionate response - every surface here is taken up by someone needing medical care. The injuries are varied from fractures to spinal cord and head injuries." Contributions can be sent via the hospital's web site.
Thank you for your concern.