HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORT
Father Tom, Doug and staff members of Hands Together are taking regular trips into Jeremie and Les Cayes with truckloads of building and roofing supplies and food, water and medical supplies to help people there who have lost everything.
Hurricane Matthew damages HT schools
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4-5. This powerful storm dished out a lot of rainwater and heavy winds -- but it was mainly the South/Western peninsula that received the largest rainfall and heaviest winds. Port-au-Prince, where our HQ and school projects are, suffered major flooding damage.
In general, the storm caused:
· More than 10,000 homes to lose their tin sheet roofs mainly in the larger cities in the area of Les Cayes and Jeremie
· Washed away bridges
· Serious flooding
· Lack of drinking/potable water
· Mud slides
· Some main roads heavily damaged
· Lack of food
· Problems in communication
· Damage to the agriculture and cattle.
There are serious concerns that the already existing cholera will further develop.
HT offered shelter to those hardest hit by the flooding during the storm. We cancelled classes and housed thousands of people in our schools to provide safe shelter from the storm and our kitchens provided hot meals for those in need and our water truck delivered fresh water to those who could not get to our compound.
HT Response Actions
· Turned our schools (primarily those w/ 2nd floors) into shelters for people who lost their homes
· Cooked 6000 hot meals a day
· Prepared food kits w/rice, beans, oil, and salmon for families upon leaving the shelter
· Our students are engaged in clean up
· Surveyed the homes of those families that were most destroyed and worked to get assistance to rebuild and repair
In addition to the effects of our student population and the areas we serve there was damage to our high school building as you can see in the photos. The school endured 5 feet of water and the students having been cleaning out the water and the mud that comes with it over the last few days. Thankfully there has not been any major injuries or loss of life. Fortunately, this is not anything new to us and we learned through the earthquake how to mobilize quickly. Anything anyone can give for this disaster and emergency relief effort will be met with great gratitude!
We need your help. We thank everyone who donates to us and prayerfully strive to use these gifts carefully and well. As a rule, we avoid self-promotion and rely only on our efforts to attract whatever goodness should come our way. We embrace the spirit of St. Francis DeSales who said, "Desire nothing, refuse nothing; and in that lies all perfection." The U.S. Catholic Bishops' 1986 pastoral letter, "Economic Justice for All" states, "everyone has special duties toward the poor; all who have more than they need must come to the aid of the poor." Hands Together will use every donation in this endeavor.
Help Us Keep It All Going
- Improve & expand medical services: Our mobile medical unit circulates daily and includes: training program for 24 health agents, improved medical testing, imaging through portable scanning and x-ray, improved medicines and supplies, program expansion to include rural villages in the Gonaives areas and electronic record keeping.
Needed for diagnostics & testing: $73,000
Needed for training & expansion: $55,000
Needed for 2nd Mobile Clinic: $267,000
- Help our water well drilling team: We just replaced our 1976 T4W drilling rig which has finally reached the point where it makes no sense to put any more money into it for repair and maintenance. We purchased a 1999 reconditioned T3W rig (we can use the old rig for parts). The contract includes several year’s worth of parts and consumables.
Spent: $299,876 - we need funds to drill wells at each of our 22 supported schools and other sites
- Scholarship/services for h.s. graduates: Our graduates represent our best hope for the staffing and future of HT programs in Haiti. Many wish to return to our schools as teachers and administrators, or to help our medical outreach; others want to work in agriculture or well drilling. Help us provide college or further training for them. Average tuition and expenses is $3,600.
Needed for 60 students: $216,000
- Residence, staffing, new land Clarke Farm: The Clarke Farm continues to provide excellent “classroom without walls” teaching for agronomy students throughout Haiti and for farmers in the Gonaives region. Most importantly, we need to hire an experienced farm manager. We need to complete construction on our staff residence building and purchase 23 more acres of adjacent land. Finally, we will introduce cattle, chickens and goats into the farm and teach farmers to raise livestock.
Needed for residence: $103,000
Needed for land and manager: $79,000
Needed for livestock: $75,000
- Music school: We will open a music school in Port-au-Prince in September. The Archdiocese of PAP partnered with us to build and staff one of Haiti’s only schools dedicated just to teaching music. Music can diffuse conflicts, combat violence and greatly enhance our educational system.
Needed for construction: $162,000
Needed for equipment: $39,000
Needed for staffing & operations: $205,000
- Charity fund: Each year we budget $40,000 for emergency needs and charity. It is never enough. The needs of the people and the desperation of those who come to our gate cannot be exaggerated. Please help us provide direct, simple, charity by increasing our charity fund.
Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating - 2006-2014
Help us continue our work to help the poorest of the poor in Haiti through a general gift.
What Your Donation Can Do
You may make a credit card gift by clicking the Donate Now Buttons on main page or click DONATE NOW! below:
Or you send a gift by mail to:
P.O. Box 80985
Springfield, MA 01138
Your employer's programs may make giving easier. Hands Together quailifies for most employer matching gifts programs. You can also give to Hands Together via workplace campaigns like United Way - contact the human resource department where you work.
Hands Together is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. All contributions are tax-deductible in the United States.
We've been fortunate enough to benefit from the long-range vision of donors who have left bequests, charitable remainder trusts and from stocks or other non-cash assets.
You may wish to consider a planned gift to Hands Together through a bequest (will), or trust. These gifts help reduce your taxable estate while allowing you to support our work in Haiti.
Please call our office if you wish to consider planned giving at 413-731-7716.