JTA published a moving op-ed by Steven B. Nasatir, president of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, on the crisis in Haiti. JUF is a JDC federation partner whose generous donation to JDC’s Haiti Relief Fund is helping to aid victims on the ground.
As reports are coming in “hot off the blackberries” of JDC representatives on the ground in Haiti, we here in NY headquarters are learning that there is an almost instant connection and sense of camaraderie among the aid groups working in Port-au-Prince and the outlying areas. This is encouraging, since a united front will be a key to success in the impending rebuilding efforts of the weeks, months, and years ahead. Shortly after the earthquake hit, we were able to connect two of our field partners, the Israel Defense Forces’ Medical Corps and Heart to Heart International—a move that benefited many quake victims, especially babies. Watch this video to learn more about the collaboration.
Jacky, Vice President of JDC’s Board of Directors, wrote the following post en route from London to Haiti, where he is accompanying JDC professionals in their meetings with field partners and on-the-ground assessment of the situation in Port-au-Prince.
JDC partner Heart to Heart International was the first relief group to arrive at Fondwa, Haiti, the epicenter of the most recent 6.0 magnitude quake. Our partner’s “extreme teams,” small groups consisting of two doctors, a nurse, and two operations personnel are bringing medical assistance to those suffering in outlying areas. Indeed, Heart to Heart is one of the few relief agencies venturing outside the capital to remote communities that, to date, are not seeing any other kind of assistance.
It goes without saying that in the wake of a disaster, stories of survival offer a glimmer into the devastation and the capacity of humans to overcome unbearable odds; our partners on the ground in Haiti are part of these stories, performing work critical to the lives of victims throughout the island.
Even when hope seems lost, especially in the most desperate of situations like those in Haiti, we would be remiss if we did not share this heartwarming story of a healthy baby boy who was delivered at the field hospital run by the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.
As phones here at JDC headquarters in NY are ringing off the hook and we’re getting a steady flow of emails from people offering to donate everything from medical supplies to mattresses to money and manpower, we have to stop for a moment and say thank you. The outpouring of support and concern for the victims of the Haiti quake are a poignant reminder that amidst the chaos of our daily routines and across geographic, economic, and cultural divides, caring about our fellow human beings—especially in times of crisis—brings us together. That spirit of partnership is paramount at JDC.
Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who have suffered as a result of the worst earthquake on the island in more than 200 years. As we did following Hurricane Gustav in 2008, JDC is now collecting funds on a non-sectarian basis for relief efforts following this catastrophic disaster. The efforts are part of JDC’s International Development Program (IDP), which provides immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters. Thank you for your support!
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