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ECHHO

(Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization)

Volunteers helping Jefferson County residents
live independently

News Archives - January 2011

Haiti Haiti ECHHO NEWSLETTER
January 2011

Excerpts from “The Devastation of Haiti” by Bill McKinley, ECHHO Volunteer:

“The island nation of Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010. The epicenter of the quake was under the city of Leogane, about 16 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The damage was catastrophic and added to the general misery, poverty, and helplessness of what was already one of the poorest countries in the southern hemisphere. In Leogane, an estimated 80-85% of buildings, and private dwellings, were destroyed. Port-au-Prince fared only marginally better. Perhaps, as may as 300,000 lost their lives, while 1,000,000 or more were displaced and forced to live on the street or in “tent cities” made infamous by the western media in the months following the quake.

“In November, under the general supervision of Experience Missions of Port Hadlock, I and my daughter Kathleen joined a group of eight from our Church, Calvary Community Church of Port Townsend, on a short-term mission to Haiti (November 15 – 25, 2010). Our purpose in going was to work alongside Haitians clearing rubble and debris from properties located in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, develop relationships, and share the love of Christ wherever possible.

“We were privileged to work alongside a group of young Haitian men referred to as “Goddies”, or young men of God. They, as well as several volunteers from the Christian School where we boarded, proved to be hard workers, became good friends, and inspired our small group with their energy and faith. The work was grueling and consisted primarily of utilizing 5 gallon cans to remove debris from 3 separate properties to curbside locations where dump trucks were used to transport the debris to dump sites. During the day, temperatures ranged between the high 80’s and low 90’s with matching levels of humidity. We helped as best we could and tried always to show our love of Christ and our respect and compassion for our new Haitian friends.”

For over 200 years, the people of Haiti have suffered from the oppression of despotic leaders, epidemics of diseases, natural disasters, and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid funds. In the Spirit of Christ, Mr. McKinley and his daughter Kathleen wanted to help ease the anguish of these people who have experienced suffering on a scale most of us can’t even imagine. This selfless action based upon devotion to their faith is a testament to the true spirit of what it means to be a “believer.” It is not enough to simply acknowledge the acceptance of religious doctrine and dogma as a way of bargaining for salvation – one must go out into the world and act in a way that honors and continues the lessons that were handed down to us some 2000 years ago.

Thank you Mr. McKinley, your daughter Kathleen, and all of the ECHHO volunteers who are, by their actions, giving hope to people who need a helping hand.

Last Month’s Stats

In December our volunteers gave a combined total of 257 hours of their time, and drove a total of 3,716 miles to provide 111 care receivers with rides to medical, dental, legal and social appointments as well as helping with errands, shopping, chores, home repairs and friendly visits. ECHHO also provided 128 pieces of medical equipment to our friends and neighbors who needed help. Included were walkers, wheelchairs, bath chairs, bed tables, hospital beds, canes, commodes and a Hoyer lift for transporting immobile patients from their beds or into their beds. We also loaned out power chairs and scooters to help people with limited mobility. We are truly making life better for so many people!

To make a monetary donation, mail your check to
ECHHO, 1110 Jefferson St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.
If you would like to donate medical equipment or volunteer, please call us at (360) 379-3246 or email us: echhopt@qwestoffice.net.

Previous newsletters can be viewed here.

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