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Alongside the stories of devastation and trauma due to the recent earthquake in Haiti are stories of personal and community strength, compassion and hope. It has been heartening to see the world - including individuals, businesses and institutions, governments, and the nonprofit community - rally to help this country in distress through the rapid pace and significant amount of dollars raised for relief efforts.
Yesterday, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that over the past 13 days, donors have contributed more than $470 million to relief efforts in Haiti, with the record-breaking success of online and text to give campaigns and celebrity telethons. These dollars went to 39 U.S. nonprofit groups. These organizations are doing amazing work fundraising, sending relief, and working on the ground.
One of the nonprofits on the list is Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere). Project HOPE's mission is "to achieve sustainable advances in health care around the world by implementing health education programs and providing humanitarian assistance in areas of need."
We recently received the note below from their President and CEO, Dr. John P. Howe, III, with an update on the progress they are making in Haiti. We know there are many other messages of hope and progress such as this one, so please share them by commenting on this post.
I want to give you a quick update on some of the work Project HOPE has undertaken in the past few days to help address the overwhelming disaster in Haiti. I hope you’ll be inspired as I am.
- The USNS Comfort arrived off the coast of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. Dr. Harold Timboe, HOPE Chief Medical Officer assisted the Navy’s medical staff in caring for the first 60 Haitian patients to be admitted to the 1,000-bed floating hospital ship.
- Also, HOPE volunteer Dr. Larry Ronan from the Massachusetts General Hospital assisted Navy personnel to identify a location for a 150-bed Expeditionary Medical Facility in Haiti.
- Within the next 24 hours, we hope to receive final U.S. Navy approval to immediately deploy the first 50 HOPE medical volunteers.
- Two HOPE Gift-in-Kind logistics specialists have been in the Dominican Republic and Haiti this week establishing transportation routes to pulse in much need medicines and medical supplies to hospitals on the border of the two countries and to rural hospitals outside of Port-au-Prince.
- More than $1 million of medical supplies are already secure in a warehouse operated by long-time HOPE partner Order of Malta in Santo Domingo. During the past two days, some of the medical supplies, such as bandages, braces, wraps and pain relief medicine, have been shipped to hospitals and clinics in the border town of Jimani where several thousand Haitian refugees have fled for relief.
- Within the next 12 hours, another shipment of medicines and medical supplies valued at more than $1 million will leave the HOPE Distribution Center in Winchester, Va., for the Dominican Republic.
- HOPE’s Director of Women’s and Children’s Health, Ruth Madison, is in Haiti today, to solidify partnerships with three hospitals that will be potential sites for HOPE volunteers and gift-in-kind. The three hospitals are: Sacre Coeur Hospital, Milo, Haiti (special thanks to Steve and Deb Rusckowski for their assistance); The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Deschapelles, Haiti; and Jimani Hospital, Jimani, Dominican Republic.
- In the first week of outreach, corporations have donated and committed over $600,000 in cash for HOPE’s relief effort. In addition to outright gifts, companies are generating funds through workplace and online giving campaigns, and special matching employee gift campaigns. Among the companies and associations that have made generous cash commitments: Alcon, American Medical Association, AT&T, Baxter International, BB&T, BD, DeVisscher, Eli Lilly, Ferring, Fulbright & Jaworski, General Dynamics, Hanger Orthopedics, Merck, Millipore, Quest Diagnostics, SpencerStuart and SRA International.
The situation in Haiti is desperate. Now, more than ever, is a time for HOPE. As you can see from the examples above, HOPE is making a difference in Haiti.