PORTLAND – The holiday season is bustling with weekend craft fairs, but one art sale Saturday served a special purpose.
The Konbit Sante Art Sale had three goals – raise money for the organization, raise awareness of Haiti’s plight and promote the work of Haitian artists.
The idea for the art sale was born when Skeek Frazee of South Portland, a member of the Konbit Sante Board of Directors, asked her women friends in the community for help in raising money.
“Women see it as a win-win,” said Karin Anderson, a principal of the Dala Consulting Group in Portland. In addition to buying art, “You learn through the art and conversations they have (about the art).”
Click for the rest of the story by Emma Bouthillette in the Maine Sunday Telegram.
Posted in Disaster, Maine, Politics and government
Tagged aid, Cap Haitien, earthquake, Episcopal Church's United Thank Offering, Haiti, Haitians, Konbit Sante, Mainers, Port-au-Prince, St. Alban's Church
AUBURN — Spring and Rich Gouette have three kids, an 11-year-old boy and two young girls. Louise and Brian Johnson have three boys; the oldest is 6. Each family considered adoption last fall, yearning to add to their young broods, but the time didn’t feel right for either. The Gouettes had their house up for sale. Moving invited uncertainty. The Johnsons prayed about adoption, leaving the decision with God. They weren’t yet feeling called.
And then, an earthquake struck Haiti in January.
The sale of their house had fallen through and the Gouettes couldn’t see waiting any longer. They connected with a Haitian orphanage through friends and immediately fell in love with a 9-year-old boy named Augenson. He was the one.
Then came news that he wasn’t alone.
Augenson had brothers, 6-year-old Wisler and 2-year-old Wisly.
“We were just in agony: ‘How do we separate the brothers?’” Spring Gouette said. “I put the word out on Facebook, ‘Here’s the deal …’”
Click on the link for the rest of this story by Kathryn Skelton in the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Posted in Disaster, Economy, Education and Schools, Maine, Politics and government
Tagged adoption, Auburn, disaster, earthquake, Haiti, Haitian, Maine, mud pies, Port-au-Prince, quake, UN, United Nations, Wayom Timoun Orphanage
Dr. Michael Regan met the girl — 14 years old, bright-eyed and sweet — in a hospital tent filled with flies and patients. Her lower leg had been crushed during Haiti’s January earthquake. She’d received treatment afterward, but in the nonsterile medical facility an infection had set in. Regan changed the pins in her leg, cleaned out the infection, gave her antibiotics. In the United States she could have had surgery in a state-of-the-art facility and would have been fine.
Not in Haiti. Regan predicted her leg will have to be amputated within a year. And there’s nothing the Auburn orthopedic surgeon could do for her — or for so many others in the very same tent.
“Oh, God, I can remember them all. There were so many of them. I’m a softy for kids, though,” he said. “I would have taken that kid in a heartbeat. If I could have found a way to get her here, she would be here.”
Regan returned from a stint in Haiti in March, one of three doctors with Central Maine Orthopaedics in Auburn to go. The doctors — Regan, Jeffrey Bush and David Brown — each spent a week in the impoverished country, taking turns away from their orthopedic practice this spring so while one was in Haiti two others could cover patients in Auburn.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, amputation, Central Maine Orthopaedics, earthquake, emergency medical service, Haiti, Haitians, humanitarian, infection, medical care, Project Medishare, quake
Maine Friends of Haiti, a group working to get aid to Haiti, is holding a raffle of sorts to spur more giving to the island nation.
Mary Doyle of the group asked that I post a link to the YouTube video that tells of the Maine people and groups that have traveled to help the earthquake-ravaged nation or have given in other ways, from coin drives, school plays, benefit concerts to art sales, solar panels and used sails donated for shelters.
The video also tells of the Maine-Haiti Statewide $1,000 Map Challenge Raffle. If I understand the raffle correctly, the name of each of Maine’s towns and cities is listed on a map and for the name of the community to be highlighted, just one person has to indicate that they have done something , anything for Haiti relief. That person then gets a ticket for the raffle. The ticket’s are not for sale; you get them by doing something for Haiti.
“You have to do something for Haiti to earn it,” according to the Maine Friends of Haiti website. “It’s a raffle that recognizes the caring nature of Mainers. It’s a raffle that challenges every town and city in Maine to get involved.”
Also – and I’ve e-mailed Ms. Doyle about this and I’ll update the information if I am completely off the mark – the winner of the raffle gets to pick which agency helping Haiti gets the $1,000. The winner doesn’t get a prize, per se, simply the pleasure of picking a nonprofit to get the $1,000.
Anyway, below is the link to the video and Maine Friends of Haiti website address.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, earthquake, Haiti, Haitians, humanitarian, Maine Friends of Haiti, Maine-Haiti Statewide $1000 Map Challenge Raffle, nonprofit, quake, relief, slideshow, video, YouTube
LEWISTON — For two days after he returned from Haiti, Peter Geiger had trouble talking about his experience.
It was too emotional. Too intense. Simply too difficult to put into words.
“It was overwhelming,” he said.
Geiger had spent days as part of a rubble brigade, passing one bucket of debris after another down a line of volunteers working in 100-degree heat to clear a collapsed building that once housed a church and school. He had walked through the streets of a neighborhood built on trash, its water tainted brown. He had handed out soccer balls to children whose last play area was a sewer.
“Until you’re physically down there and you see it, smell it, hear it, it’s hard to describe,” Geiger said. “I knew it would be an emotional experience, but I didn’t realize, particularly until I came back, how emotionally I was affected by it. I’ve always been passionate about helping people, but this is a whole other level of need.”
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal. The story is accompanied by photos and video.
Posted in Disaster, Environment, Maine, Outdoors
Tagged aid, disaster, earthquake, Haiti, Haitians, humanitarian, Mainers, mission trip, relief, South Lewiston Baptist Church, volunteers
Web site to link Maine resources
for Haiti aid uses woman’s media skills
Mary Doyle doesn’t have medical expertise or a lot of disposable income for charitable donations, but she wanted to do her part for the people of Haiti and the Mainers who are helping there.
She does have a knack for bringing people together and developing Web sites, so she tapped those skills to create the Maine Friends of Haiti Web site.
The site lists the large number of Maine groups working to help the people affected by the Caribbean nation’s devastating earthquake, which hit Jan. 12, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving 1.5 million more homeless.
“I tried to think of something that could be helpful,” Doyle said. “There was no Web site or group that was tying all the different efforts together.”
Click on the link for the rest of this story by David Hench in the Portland Press Herald.
And here’s a link to the Maine Friends of Haiti website: http://www.mainefriendsofhaiti.org/mainefriendsofhaiti.org/Home.html
The Rev. Marc Boisvert left Lewiston
12 years ago, and knows he will spend
his life – all of it – helping on this island
LES CAYES, Haiti – Saturday morning, as the Rev. Marc Boisvert rode in an SUV through the busy streets of downtown Les Cayes, a young man on a motorcycle pulled up alongside the open window.
“Respe, mon Pere!” the man shouted to Boisvert.
“Merci,” replied Boisvert before the motorcyclist turned sharply and zoomed down a side street.
What had the man said?
“He said, ‘Respect to you, Father,’” Boisvert said.
The compliment was well earned.
He was born and grew up in Lewiston. He went to a seminary high school in Bucksport.
He’s served as pastor at Roman Catholic churches in Castine and Stonington, a chaplain at Maine Maritime Academy and as a Navy chaplain at, of all places, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
But that’s all in his distant past. Twelve years, three months and six days ago – he knows because it happened on Jan. 1, 1998 – Boisvert left life as he knew it and came to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Click on the link for the rest of this story by Bill Nemitz.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, earthquake, Haiti, Haitian, Les Cayes, Lewiston, Maine Maritime Academy, missionary work, Operation Desert Storm, Port-au-Prince, Project Hope, Pwoje Espwa, relief, Rev. Marc boisvert, Roman Catholic Church, St. Joseph's Seminary High School
LES CAYES, Haiti – Not once in the four weeks and five days since he left Portland Harbor had Dave St. Cyr, a deckhand aboard the Maine relief ship Sea Hunter, uttered such an exclamation.
A United Nations Police patrol boat arrives at Sea Hunter’s anchorage Friday morning to provide security during the offloading operations off the coast of Les Cayes, Haiti.
“What chaos!” said St. Cyr, 54, of Portland as he came to the ship’s bridge for a breather late Friday afternoon. “It’s unbelievable down there!”
And long overdue.
Sea Hunter’s mission of mercy to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, delayed by raging winter storms and enough red tape to stop the 220-foot treasure-hunting ship dead in the water for days on end, is at last coming to an end.
Just after noon Friday, a Haitian customs official gave the long-awaited permission to begin offloading Sea Hunter’s estimated 200 tons of relief supplies.
Minutes later, the water around the ship exploded into a scrum of landing vessels and a cacophony of bullhorns, security sirens and, above all, shouting Haitian workers.
“This is it,” said Sea Hunter’s owner, Greg Brooks. “This is what we started out in Portland for. And it’s finally come to fruition today.”
Click on the link to read the rest of this story by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, Bill Nemitz, earthquake, Greg Brooks, Haiti, Haitians, Hope Village, humanitarian, Les Cayes, Maine, mission of mercy, Portland, relief, Sea Hunter, solar-powered water desalinator, United Nations Police
PERU, Maine – Marilee Colpitts and Jamie Dennett had planned a missionary trip to Haiti long before the devastating earthquake on that island nation in January.
Their trip now will include their original goals, as well as helping some of the many children who have fled the capital of Port-au-Prince for Terrier Rouge, a city in the northwestern section of the country.
“We want to bring money for food and other things for the people who are fleeing Port-au-Prince,” said Dennett, who is making her fourth trip to Haiti. “Here, in this country, people go to the state. There, they go to the pastors.”
She and Colpitts, who is making her second trip, are among 14 people, mostly from Maine, who are representing His Hands for Haiti, a nonprofit Christian group based in New Vineyard that finds sponsors for some of the thousands of children who do not have enough food or cannot go to school.
Click on the link to the rest of today’s story by Eileen M. Adams of the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, Chrisitan group, donations, earthquake, food, Haiti, Haitians, Hands for Haiti, Lewiston, missionary, New Vinyard, nonprofit, Peru, Port-au-Prince, relief, school, Terrier Rouge