Hope for Haiti Responds to Devastating Port-Au-Prince Earthquake

As the aftershocks of the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake continued to rock Port-au-Prince into Tuesday night, Hope for Haiti, a non-profit organization based in Florida, has launched its emergency response to help in the aftermath of this catastrophic event.

Hope for Haiti is mobilizing both in Les Cayes, Haiti and in Naples to get aid to the dust-covered capital’s countless victims. The organization’s large network of supplies and technical expertise in Haiti is based in the south. The challenge today is getting the most crucial materials four hours north to Port-au-Prince as quickly and safely as possible.

Emergency Relief Buckets containing fortified dried food supplies, matches, candles, antibacterial soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, detergent, and Aquatab water purification tablets are the thrust of Hope for Haiti’s response. One 5-gallon bucket is intended to sustain a family of five for about a week, and 1,000 buckets are packed and on their way.

In addition, Hope for Haiti is sending to Haiti medications, medical supplies, Haitian Dr. Steve Victor, and 7,308 bags of Kids Against Hunger fortified dried meals. Led by Country Director Mike Stewart and in coordination with the Naples staff, this effort was coordinated throughout the night.

“We’re asking the public to support our efforts through prayers and financial assistance,” said Hope for Haiti Founder and President, JoAnne Kuehner. “We need donations to help send medical supplies and medical personnel to Haiti.”

Financial donations can be made directly through the organization’s Web site www.hopeforhaiti.com

As of 10 a.m. today, a large public bus filled with these supplies is on its way to Port-au-Prince. Hope for Haiti staff, equipped with shovels, pick-axes, tools, and a gritty will, determined to bring aid to any along their way are also headed to the capital.

Hope for Haiti has been working in Haiti since 1990. While its primary focus has been education, nutrition, and healthcare for the poorest country in the western hemisphere, the organization also provides emergency disaster relief. During the 2008 hurricanes it deployed a massive Emergency Disaster Relief program and has true on-hand expertise in disaster assistance.

Hope for Haiti supports eight schools, a nutrition clinic, a hospital, and several orphanages in the Port-au-Prince area. The staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to establish contact with in-country friends and partners, many who have not yet been reached. “We’re holding out hope for their wellbeing,” said Kuehner.

“We need your help,” said Hope for Haiti’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Davison. “In a disaster like this, awareness is critical. Advocacy is a power tool. So spread the word. Send a donation. Say a prayer. And pass this along.”

For continuous updates, follow Hope for Haiti on Twitter at @HopeforHaitiFL, or via the organization’s Web site www.hopeforhaiti.com.