Monday, January 18, 2010

Earthquakes, Haiti and Helping

..and a tender mercy.
This past week my mind and heart have been making all kinds of connections
I know firsthand about earthquakes.
I experienced a 6.6 earthquake in 1971.
I was 7, we weren't at the epicenter, but even miles away it was scary.

My first thought and concern was for the orphans and the orphanage that my family helped build in Haiti. We have received word that everyone housed here is safe and well and the building only sustained minor damage. They have their own well, a generator donated by the church and vegetable gardens and animals they keep to sustain them.
But there are millions who are not so fortunate.

Our Stake does humanitarian service every other Wednesday at our stake center. I decided that after aerobics I would stop by and see if there was anything our Young Women could do to help.

As I was walking in the door of the building my phone rang. It was Bishop Neff. He was asking if I could speak on Sunday - about service. I normally would but was leaving early the next day to go with Mark to a conference in San Diego and would not be back until after church on Sunday. He expressed his concern for the people in Haiti and wished there was something that we could do as a ward. I told him I shared his concern and that I was trying to find out the same thing - I would call him when I got some info.

The sister at the church hadn't heard of specific needs but did give me a contact for the LDS Humanitarian center in Provo... I didn't know one existed in Provo.

A few phone calls later I was able to provide him with information on cost and a good source to get soap, tooth brushes etc. to put in hygiene kits to send to Haiti.

He called me later that evening and said that they were going to try to collect $5000.00 in donations by the next evening and put together over 1000 kits on Saturday morning. I was overwhelmed (and a little bit sad that we would not be there to help). My original intent was to find a small project that 6 girls and two adults could do, blankets, stuff like that.
It turns out they raised more money than they hoped and so many people turned out that they put over 1000 kits together in 30 minutes!
Here is a video they posted on you tube
or here are some pictures.

Another tender mercy:
More donations came in later allowing the wards to buy more supplies.
The YM and YW will put the kits together this Wednesday.
I get to help after all.

My contribution to this effort (in money and time)was almost nothing.
I'm sure they would have done it easily without my help
but I was glad to be able to do something.
If you want to do something to help go here.
.... and pray.


Amy said...

So cool. Could you ask Bishop Neff to postpone your talk until the next Sunday? :-) Can't wait to see you soon!

Dave and Mandy said...

Karen, I am bawling! You are so inspired and we were so moved watching the video - love that ward so much! I've been feeling so helpless and looking for a way to help Haiti too. Thanks for posting.