Central Virginians reach out to help Haiti

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The devastation in Haiti from Monday's earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks is hitting close to home for some here in Central Virginia.

Visit any news web site today, and you'll find story after story about the devastation in Haiti. What you can also find on the Internet though are dozens of local organizations, who long before today, make it their ongoing mission to help out that country.

"My passion is Haiti, and I do have friends, lots of friends in Port-au-Prince, so my heart just really goes out to them," said Kathy Faw of the Patricia Sullivan Haitian Outreach Foundation.

Faw shared pictures of her recent trip to the country.  She goes about five times a year: helping with ongoing projects to provide supplies and education.  Faw has seen the deplorable conditions in first hand, and was sad to hear the country has suffered another devastating blow.

"People live day to day," she said. "They probably make 50 cents to a dollar a day, and they use that to go to market and buy a cup of rice to eat, and they feed their family on that.  You just shake your head and you don't know what else to say because your heart just goes out to the people and you think, what else? You know what else?"

Just a quick Google search will show you that there are dozens more organizations who have an ongoing missions to help Haiti.

Leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond are working in a coordinated international effort with Catholic Relief Services to communicate with that country and help however they can.

All of the groups hope that some good will come out of this tragedy and help raise awareness about the ongoing need to help Haitians.

Faw's organization helps provide supplies and even staffed a school in the Lower Plateau,  but she says it's never enough, especially when you compare it to America.

"We are the richest country in the world. and that how fortunate we are just to have the things that we have," she said.

Faw plans to go back to Haiti next month.

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