On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The reported death toll was 230,000 and an estimated 40,000 people had to have limbs amputated. Six weeks later, an 8.8 earthquake hit near Constituting, Chile. Some one million people became homeless. In each case, Latter-day Saint Charities responded quickly with food, water, medical supplies, and emergency medical teams.
Many of you reading this on the LDS Charities widget contributed substantial amounts for this relief effort.
In Haiti, 1.5 million pounds of food and supplies have been provided to date. This included 894,592 pounds of food, 16,070 water filter bottles, 104,921 hygiene kits, 11,760 blankets, 9,408 newborn kits, 4,300 first aid kits, 25 medical modules, 2,711 tents, 2,400 tarps, 600 quilts, 430 transitional shelters, and 20 volunteer doctors and nurses.
The delivery of hard goods was augmented by local, volunteer labor. “‘Helping hands’ is more than a slogan—it’s a reality,” said Barbara Corro, an elementary school teacher and LDS institute student in Santiago, Chile. “It was really frustrating to see people in pain, so we put together a service project so we could do something for them.” She joined 30 other young adults to assemble 10,000 hygiene kits.
Women from the Relief Society in Santiago, the LDS woman’s organization, and their young women daughters made desperately needed blankets. Some measured and cut sections of polyester fleece from large rolls. Others hemmed the edges and embroidered the words ten fe y se valiente—“have faith and be brave.”
The money for blankets, products in these hygiene kits, and aid provided for other projects came from the Humanitarian Fund to which you generously contributed.
“Following the initial recovery in both Haiti and Chile, I expect we’ll stick to our major humanitarian initiatives,” said Brett Bass, director of Latter-day Saint Charities in Salt Lake City, Utah. “This includes providing sustainable solutions such as clean water, mobility, and food production. But we’re also providing innovative and inexpensive transitional shelters, and we hope to help address the great need for education.”
While much is yet to be done, there is hope in Haiti and Chile. Thank you for your caring support.