About a month ago, right after the earthquake in Haiti, I quoted a passage by Edwidge Danticat about the momentary attention Haiti gets in times of crisis, and how that attention wanes over time. As that attention starts to wander, I'd like to tell you about a dear friend of mine, Gina Vela, a native of Haiti, who nows lives In Orange County with her husband. Gina's extended family, including her mother, still live in Haiti, and her mother has been working with a foundation, Coeur d'Amour, before the earthquake happened, helping children in need, except now that need has grown exponentially. Gina and her brother have done some local fundraising, and Friday they flew with supplies into the Dominican Republic and will drive into the country. Gina is a real hero, and I've pasted some info about the organization below:
Long before a 7.0 magnitude temblor shook the nation of Haiti, an organization called Coeur d’Amour (Love from the Heart) began supporting a small number of children from some of the most impoverished families in the Port Au Prince region. A.C.A. arranged for the children to go to school but quickly learned that kids can’t learn when they are hungry. So they convinced local restaurants to provide meals for each child. By the end of 2009 A.C.A. supported 54 children and two young adults who were attending university.
Then at 7:53 pm (PST) on January 12, 2010, in a few heartbeats, the world literally came crashing down on them. The two university students were killed. The children’s school and homes collapsed. The restaurants that were feeding the kids were in ruins.
A ten-year-old boy knew they needed help. He set out on foot and walked 10 hours until he reached the home of Marie Ange, Gina Vela’s mother, who was instrumental in founding the A.C.A. Exhausted and worried, he explained that they had no food, no water, no shelter, and desperately begged for her help for his friends in the program.
The challenge with the kids in the A.C.A. program is that they live in a mountainous area that is far away from the major population center in Port au Prince where the majority of the aid is being distributed. It may be months before help reaches them. These children desperately need food, water, shelter, and clothing now.
Since the quake, A.C.A has grown to over 80 kids. You can help them to get what they need to survive. Your donations will go directly to this group of children.