Letters of LOVE & COMFORT to the Orphans of Haiti
Laurie asked us for help with this post yesterday and got only three responses for many hours, me, the Owl, and Bonnie.
After seeing the embarassasing lack of response, I contacted the Owl and Bonnie---who had both kicked in beautifully---and they literally slammed into action, and many of you got PM’s asking for a reponse to this. (These women blew my long-ago-blown mind with their rapid response. Yowza!)
Some of you responded and commented, but I think that we can do better. Please read the following, and kick in, if you can.
I took Laurie’s original post, and her followup, and added her private message to me, to create the following, I hope, more cohesive message asking for support.
She is asking us to simply send words of hope to orphans. Let’s see what we can do, collectively, to write words of support.
Heads up OS folks: Here is a chance to show your compassionate writing chops.
Laurie’s first post: (edited a little)
I need your help right away. Since the earthquake in Haiti I have been working with a selfless team on-the-ground orchestrating a mission to help orphans. This is a private endeavor--people like you and me who are spending their time, money and risking their lives to help the helpless--little children with no parents, children with no hope. But we are reaching them. And we are making a difference.
As I write, children are being led to safety. They are being seen by medical teams. They are getting food and fresh water. But the one thing no one speaks about on the television is the greatest singular need of all: these children are abandoned in body and spirit--and, now they have lost everything, and they have no hope.
But there IS hope. They are NOT alone, and they need to know that people like you care...and pray for them. The children are traumatized. They do not understand. And still, countless thousands continue to have no or little water, no food, no shelter, no one to hold them close and tell them they're all right, and many are injured.
The situation is far bleaker than the news depicts. But you have a chance to make a difference--right now, right within your grasp--the power to do great good. Write a note on this blog. Address it, "Dear Child..." and tell a child, in your own words, that you care. That you pray. That there is hope. And that you hold that child in your thoughts.
I will get your message to the priests and people who are caring for these children--who are beating off wild dogs and armed gangs targeting orphanges knowing they are the first to receive food.
This is not about money. This is, quite simply, about the greatest gift one person can give another: the gift of hope. Please, take a moment to write words of comfort and love. Post a message on this blog. The children will hear your words. They will receive your message.
Write from your heart. Thank you for reaching out.
Laurie’s PM to me: (edited a little)
Thanks for your support, Ginny. I don't want to broadcast this, but I am the point person for the evacuation of an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Originally the orphanage was small--only 40 children, but four of these had paperwork-in-progress with longtime supporters of this particular orphanage. Well, needless to say, the earthquake has halted the process--the entire focus has been to get the children out of Port-au-Prince to safe ground.
We have people--regular people, like you and like me, who have pooled our resources. We hired Global Rescue to find the children and their priest, who oversees the orphanage, to get them medical attention, food and water. We have our people on the ground gathering food, fresh water, medical supplies, beds, etc.--all this, paid for by just one, wonderful, benevolent man who has the means and the heart to care.
The children will be moved 300 miles to a new and temporary home, where we have a comprehensive support team in place. I live in a tiny village--and when I tell you that yesterday, one of my friends here, who has long had a home in the Dominican Republic, left for Haiti to head the operation...and that the man bankrolling the mission is leaving tomorrow...well, you can see how far-reaching our efforts really are. These people are putting their very lives on the line.
In any case, I wanted to clarify my request for letters of love and hope to these children because you've been kind to add to the blog, and because you’ve expressed a desire to further my efforts. I've been sending the letters of love and support directly to Father, who speaks English, and to a woman who has been our lifeline connection to Father with the children--she is Haitian, educated in the U.S. and fluent, of course, in both languages.
Father told me early on that the children have had their spirits crushed, and that they need psychological help to get through this awful time. Well, we're trying to do much more than that--we're rescuing them and giving them a new life.
But others like you can do just as much by sending your words of comfort and love. Anyway, that's the deal.
Laurie’s addition to her first post: (edited a little)
Some of you have responded to my plea, asking for letters of love and support for orphans in Haiti. I want to thank those of you who have responded--and I ask you to further send out the word, in your communities, through your churches and schools, that the children of Haiti need to know that you hold them in your thoughts, and in your prayers.
Add your comments to this blog and I will get them to the priests and social workers who are protecting these children, body and soul. But it is to you, dear friends, that I ask you to embrace their spirit. They need to know that somewhere someone cares--and that someone can be you.
Thank you for your messages of courage and faith to the helpless, the suffering, the innocent children of devastated Haiti. To you on Open Salon, I send you my warm regards.
I do want to add that the children speak French, however the priests and the caretakers speak and read English--and they are translating your messages to the children.
(Editors note: I added paragraph breaks and cleaned up some minor syntax. Everything else is from Laurie.)