Group returns from Haiti and hopes to aid survivors

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A local church group that survived the earthquake in Haiti is finally home. The Catholic missionaries flew into Richmond Sunday night. They're hoping telling their story will encourage others to help.

The group from Saint Bridget's and The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart made the trip because their sister parish needed help. After witnessing the devastation firsthand, they say Haitians need that assistance now, more than ever.

The moment they first saw their loved ones at Richmond International Airport was one they had waited for, for almost a week. The five members of the church delegation finally made it into the arms of the families who had longed for their safe return.

They were just sixty miles away in the town of Hinche when the 7.0 quake struck.

"While we were sitting on the steps, all the sudden we feel them rock back and forth," explained Danny Yates. "It was like we were on a boat or something."

The images are now burned into their memories.

"There's dust in the sky. There are bodies on the road, uncountable numbers of bodies there, children who are just sitting on the side of the road," Yates said.

For Terry Bullard, it was unimaginable.

"How in the world could something like this happen to people who already don't have anything," Bullard asked. "They've had it so rough. How in the world are they going to make it?"

"Their homes are gone. They have no cars. They have no gas. This is the most ghastly situation you've ever dreamed of and it just goes on, and on, and on, with 5 million people," said Bullard.

Making it through the disaster has bonded her to the small Caribbean nation for life. She only hopes more people will open their eyes.

"The silver lining in this disaster is that finally the world is taking real notice," Bullard told NBC 12.

The group is collecting donations for the town of Hinche. They say the population there has nearly tripled as people seek refuge from Port-au-Prince and they're in desperate need of supplies. If you want to donate specifically to this town, click on the link to the right.

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