Intrepid Museum 2019 events
Rainbow Band
Intrepid
Donate to the Intrepid Museum
Home > January 2010 > Helping Out in Haiti - Report from a NY relief mission
Helping Out in Haiti - Report from a NY relief mission
Seperator
Posted: 1/29/2010 10:18:24 AM



This piece originally ran in the New York Post on January 28, 2010
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists
/helping_out_in_haiti_3pHWiZmnynsrZ4oZddRreL


Report from a NY relief mission

By BILL WHITE

PORT-AU-PRINCE

WE just finished our fourth day in Haiti. I implore everyone who can to make positive change for the wonderful people here.

We arrived Sunday -- a small New York-based group escorting supplies donated via the Intrepid Foundations. We've seen more suffering and more heroism than the mind can comprehend:

* Hundreds of thousands of people are sleeping in the streets -- using bedsheets as tent tops -- and cinder blocks from their fallen homes for walls out in the street, for fear that a truck might run them over.

* We helped arrange the airlift of a young Haitian girl to the Marine hospital on board USS Nassau. Her legs had been badly cut up -- but even more unfathomable was what had been next to her legs: a box marked "Don't throw away -- baby in box."

* Yesterday we took a helicopter flight over Port-au-Prince. The devastation was horrific -- yet the outer areas remain so beautiful, a treasure of nature. It's frightening to think what nature did in 40 seconds to such a paradise and to three million people.

More than 10,000 people have experienced -- or still need -- the amputation of a limb. Desperation is growing among those who need food, water, clothing -- and especially medical supplies. In many cases, an amputation leads to death from the simple lack of an IV antibiotic.
Stop and read that sentence again. People are dying here every hour simply because of a broken leg. The agony of this situation is beyond words.

We've spent time with three amazing groups doing the Lord's work on the ground:

* Our US military -- all five branches, in a joint operation under the able command of Gen. Doug Fraser and Lt. Gen. Ken Keen. US troops (and their foreign counterparts) are doing much and will be doing more in the days and months ahead.

Gen. Keen and his team were actually here on an official visit when the earthquake hit. Some were seriously wounded; the last I heard, one remained unaccounted for. (Fisher House is taking care of his family.)

* The Catholic Medical Mission Board (full disclosure: I'm an incoming board member) is supplying the hospitals and clinics with vital medical supplies. Every penny you give to them goes here ASAP -- and ASAP help is critically needed; consider donating online at CMMB.org.

* FOKAL -- La Fondation Connaissance et Liberté -- is the Haiti-based branch of the Open Society Institute. Its NYC executive director, Linda Mellon, is an American-born Haitian who formerly was an executive at the Intrepid.

Thanks to Linda, our group received text messages from people still trapped in the rubble. Because of our strong military ties from our Intrepid work, we were able to get these emergency messages immediately out through Southern Command to the search-and-rescue teams on the ground. We know that lives were saved in at least eight instances.

FOKAL strongly recommends that we equip the provinces with the tools they need to empower people fleeing there from Port-Au-Prince (as many as 275,000 have) so they can be self-sustaining. In other words, Haiti needs a Marshall plan -- and it needs one now.

We're escorting almost 300,000 pounds of supplies (food, water, clothing and other essentials) donated by the public and collected by 13,000 New York City livery-car drivers and bodega owners. SG Blocks donated six 50-foot earthquake-proof shipping containers, while city Sanitation trucks and trucking companies got them to GMD Shipyard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for shipment to Florida -- where the US military, under Air Force Gen. Ray Johns and his amazing team, is taking them to Haiti.

We met with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Haitian port owners here to ensure that this delivery doesn't sit anywhere waiting for distribution, but will absolutely get out to those who need it most. And yesterday we met with Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, who asked us to thank the people of New York City for their help.

Steven Fisher, Charles de Gunzburg, Joe Plumeri, Joe Moinian, Larry Silverstein, Roe Stamps, Naveen Jain and Gally Mayer gave generously to this effort; some donated their private planes to help us get doctors into Haiti.

We want to thank all the brave men and women of our armed forces and all government agencies and private groups that have again rallied to aid people who so badly needed them.
When the news coverage drops off sometime next week (it will -- it always does), I beg you to remember the Haitian people in your thoughts and prayers. They still need our assistance -- and we can, as a people and a nation, do much to help them.

I will never forget what I've witnessed -- the suffering, and the gigantic rescue and relief effort that has changed the lives of all who've taken part.

Bill White is president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.


Share


Syndication
RSS

News Archive

June 2019(1)
May 2019(4)
April 2019(3)
March 2019(1)
February 2019(3)
January 2019(2)
December 2018(5)
November 2018(2)
October 2018(4)
September 2018(7)
August 2018(7)
July 2018(2)
May 2018(5)
April 2018(4)
March 2018(2)
February 2018(6)
January 2018(5)
December 2017(2)
November 2017(3)
October 2017(3)
September 2017(1)
August 2017(6)
July 2017(7)
June 2017(5)
May 2017(10)
April 2017(1)
March 2017(4)
February 2017(9)
January 2017(6)
December 2016(3)
November 2016(5)
October 2016(3)
September 2016(3)
August 2016(3)
July 2016(1)
May 2016(1)
April 2016(4)
March 2016(4)
February 2016(3)
January 2016 (6)
December 2015(5)
November 2015(5)
October 2015(6)
September 2015(9)
August 2015(8)
July 2015(7)
June 2015(7)
May 2015(9)
April 2015(5)
March 2015(5)
February 2015(7)
January 2015(2)
December 2014(6)
November 2014(5)
October 2014(6)
September 2014(8)
August 2014(7)
July 2014(5)
June 2014(5)
May 2014(9)
April 2014(7)
March 2014(7)
February 2014(5)
January 2014(4)
December 2013(7)
November 2013(8)
October 2013(8)
September 2013(8)
August 2013(9)
July 2013(9)
June 2013(2)
May 2013(2)
March 2013(5)
February 2013(3)
January 2013(6)
December 2012(12)
November 2012(3)
October 2012(1)
September 2012(3)
August 2012(4)
July 2012(2)
june 2012(6)
May 2012(4)
April 2012(7)
March 2012(1)
February 2012(4)
January 2012(1)
December 2011(2)
November 2011(4)
October 2011(2)
September 2011(5)
August 2011(6)
July 2011(6)
June 2011(10)
May 2011(11)
April 2011(10)
March 2011(11)
February 2011(9)
January 2011(6)
December 2010(10)
November 2010(8)
October 2010(5)
September 2010(7)
August 2010(11)
July 2010(9)
June 2010(9)
May 2010(10)
April 2010(5)
March 2010(6)
February 2010(3)
January 2010(3)
December 2009(3)
November 2009(8)
October 2009(3)
September 2009(4)
August 2009(4)
July 2009(11)
June 2009(5)