Tag Archives: Haitians

Mainers raise funds, work to help survivors | Bangor Daily News

Mainers raise funds, work to help survivors | Bangor Daily News

To help Haiti earthquake relief visit www.unicefusa.org.

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Haiti suffers as U.S. delays rebuilding aid | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Haiti suffers as U.S. delays rebuilding aid | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Mainers’ efforts are paying off for earthquake victims in Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Mainers’ efforts are paying off for earthquake victims in Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

For more information on the St. Alban’s Haiti project, visit http://www.stalbansmaine.org/ and click on “Mission and Outreach.”

Visit http://tinyurl.com/35t496a for more information on the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation’s Haiti efforts.

Visit www.konbitsante.org for more on the Portland-based nonprofit.

Auburn doctors return from Haiti | Lewiston Sun Journal

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.

Maine Friends for Haiti holding ‘raffle’ to benefit Haiti

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4zi_c-zI4o

www.mainefriendsofhaiti.org

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Lewiston church group returns from mission trip to Haiti | Lewiston Sun Journal

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.

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‘Maine Friends of Haiti’ is woman’s way of pitching in | Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

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

Sea Hunter’s supplies reach Haitian people | Portland Press Herald

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.

Students collecting 1 million vitamins for Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Students collecting 1 million vitamins for Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Sea Hunter awaits OK to dock in Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Sea Hunter awaits OK to dock in Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Local missionaries heading to Haiti to help children

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.

‘Here we go, boys. We’re going to Haiti!’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Here we go, boys. We’re going to Haiti!’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Concern over captain’s health tempers crew’s excitement

MIAMI — Preparations shifted into high gear in Haiti on Monday to receive the estimated 200 tons of donated relief supplies aboard the Maine ship Sea Hunter, while hopes rose aboard the ship that its five days in limbo here could finally end today.

But even as the crew lashed down cargo and looked forward to this morning’s arrival of a shipmaster who has volunteered to sail the rest of the humanitarian mission, new worries arose about the health of Sea Hunter owner Greg Brooks of Gorham.

Brooks said he spoke at length Monday morning with Dr. William Lynders, a Connecticut physician who has sailed with Brooks’s Sub Sea Research Inc. on several of the company’s treasure-salvage voyages.

The cell phone consultation followed a call to Lynders by Brian Ryder, the Sea Hunter’s chief engineer and shipboard medic. Ryder said he was worried about Brooks’ physical condition, including what appears to be a lung infection.

“I thought I was a strong guy, I still think I am,” Brooks said. “But it’s been a month of overwhelming things.”

Brooks said he would decide by this morning whether to continue on to Haiti or fly home to Maine after seeing the Sea Hunter off. Either way, he said, the decision will not be easy.

Click on the link for the rest of this column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.

Mr. Nemitz also added a Reporter’s Notebook about the Sea Hunter. A notebook typically are bits and pieces a reporter gathers, but never seems to find place in the main story or column. Here’s a link to the notebook by Mr. Nemitz.

 

North Berwick concert to benefit Haitian orphans, amputees

 

Below is the text from a press release I received via e-mail from Susan Ropars of the Higher Ground Singers. It is pretty much the same information I passed along yesterday from the Portland Press Herald, but it doesn’t hurt to pass it along again.

Benefit Concert for Haiti: Higher Ground Singers, directed by Michelle Lessard, is excited to be hosting “Spirit and Song United for Haiti” at 1PM on Sunday, March 7th at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine.

Featuring a wide variety of Seacoast Area musicians and talents, this event is sure to appeal to all ages. Helen Ksypka, aka Extreme Helen, will emcee the benefit, which includes such local legends as Sharon Jones, Barbara London, Salt River, Rock My Soul, The Digbees, Lesley Smith & Sammie Snail, and Women Singing Out! Other performers include Barb Whitney, Michael Tero, The Dover First Parish Praise Team and Sweet Willie D & The North Shore Gospel Ambassadors.

Donations from the heart will graciously be accepted at the door, and 100% of the proceeds will be given to the following organizations:

Hands and Feet Project: a nonprofit organization which is a children’s orphanage/village in Jacmel, Haiti. They are currently rebuilding the homes that were destroyed in the orphanage and providing medical care to the injured children. (www.handsandfeetproject.org)

 NEBCO Foundation – Haiti Amputee Rehab Team (HART): a New Hampshire-based team of doctors, working with the New England Brace Co. to provide prosthetics to children who lost limbs as a result of the earthquake. This team of doctors will be making their first trip to Haiti in early March. (www.nebcofoundation.org)

As always, do your homework before giving to any organization. The Better Business Bureau is always a great place to start to check out a charity.

 

Maine Haiti Dispatches | Portland Press Herald

 Local Haiti Dispatches | Portland Press Herald.

Konbit Sante doctor sees Haitians’ generosity amid despair | Portland Press Herald

Konbit Sante doctor sees Haitians’ generosity amid despair | Portland Press Herald.

Captain volunteers for relief mission

Click for the latest update: Captain volunteers for relief mission

Sea Hunter racing the clock

Owner, crew of the vessel scramble

to address the Coast Guard’s safety,

licensing requirements as deadline looms

Updated at 1:25 p.m. EST

MIAMI — Negotiations between the owner of the Sea Hunter and the local Coast Guard station progressed this morning toward a possible compromise that would allow the Maine-based ship to continue its relief mission to an orphanage in Haiti.

“We’re continuing to talk,” said Greg Brooks of Gorham, the Sea Hunter’s owner, after speaking to Coast Guard officials repeatedly both in person and by cell phone.

“I’m hoping there’s a solution in sight,” Brooks said.

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Michael Lingaitis visited the Sea Hunter late in the morning to deliver a “hold order” which would prevent the Sea Hunter from departing for Les Cayes, Haiti, before safety and licensing issues have been resolved.

“We’re willing to work with you,” Lingaitis told Brooks during a conference in the ship’s galley. “Let’s keep discussing this.”

The Sea Hunter, loaded with relief supplies donated by people and businesses through Maine and New England, sailed here from Portland without a licensed ship master, first mate and engineer as required by Coast Guard regulations.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.

Mainer’s voyage to Haiti now uncertain

Coast Guard officials question

the qualifications of Greg Brooks’

crew as he tries to deliver relief supplies

MIAMI — A Maine ship bound for Haiti with relief supplies may be prevented by the U.S. Coast Guard from proceeding beyond the port of Miami, its owner learned Wednesday evening.

Greg Brooks, owner of the 220-foot Sea Hunter, was told by Coast Guard officials by telephone that he cannot sail the ship to Haiti without a licensed captain and first mate aboard.

Brooks, who usually uses the ship to search for sunken shipwreck treasures, said he has sailed without licensed personnel on past voyages because the Sea Hunter is documented as a noncommercial vessel and he understood that no such licenses were required.

That changed Thursday, when Coast Guard officials in Miami contacted their counterparts in South Portland to inquire about the qualifications of the crew.

“My heart feels like it’s been ripped right out of me,” said Brooks, who flew to Miami ahead of the ship late last week to arrange for the loading of additional relief supplies from a Florida-based relief organization.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.

Here’s a link to an earlier dispatch about the problems:

Coast Guard mulling Maine ship’s Haiti trip

I’ve been a very, very bad blogger

It is clear to me that I have been a very, very bad blogger the past couple of weeks.

In many ways I have completely failed. But in a few others I think I have excelled.

Well, “excelled” may be a bit much, so let us agree that I have not done as well at some things as I have others. And I vow to strive to do better at the things I failed to do well, while continuing to do the things that I might have done better than, well, the things I did not do so well. Well …

What I have not done well lately is write fresh, new content for this blog about Maine and Mainers from a perspective of someone “from away.”  It has not been because of so-called writer’s block or want of trying. It simply has been a matter of time and not seeming to have any to write new content.

Frankly, I am still getting over the holiday haze, but now am looking forward to what great and special things will happen in 2010. Top among those things is finding employment. I am hungry to get back to work.

If you have read this blog before – I am a “blogger,” but what are people who read blogs? – you will know that I have been out of work since March 2009. I was laid off after 22 years working in the newspaper industry. And you would have to be from the dark side of the moon not to know that the newspaper industry has been hit very hard the past couple of years – continued high costs of paper and other materials, continued high profit margins for stockholders, lower revenue due to lower advertising sales due to the housing crisis and the auto industry crisis and the national economy crisis.

Leaders in the newspaper industry failed to heed the warnings that came to them a decade or two ago that a new age in information dissemination was coming – the Age of the Internet – and they made little effort to adjust. And what little effort they made came much too late for tens of thousands of very talented people in journalism and for many newspapers which have now long ago shut down their presses. I blame newspaper owners and publishers the most, although everyone in the industry has a share of the blame.

Because of all that I have been looking not only for a newspaper job, but for employment in the nonprofit or government sectors. There is a chance that what they used to say is still true, that writing skills are appreciated in very nearly any field. I am not 100 percent convince that is true given the traditionally low salaries in newspapers and other media, the decreasing salaries in newspapers, other media and for freelancers, and the low wages for “writers” in industries in which writers are not traditionally thought to work. And the disintegration of language because of what passes as “allowed” writing in emails, texting, blogs and other electronic media belittles and besmirches what professional writers do. That is the way of the universe.

And I also have given thought to returning to college to earn a master’s degree in another field, perhaps pubic administration. I believe I would go with an emphasis in nonprofit management over government agency management, because for some time I have wanted to do something for the greater good and working for a nonprofit has the feel of doing something more directly good for people.

What I think I have done fairly well for the past couple of months is to: 1) aggregate news about Maine from various sources, usually from Maine newspaper websites; and 2) post stories and other information about the plight of the people in Haiti following the earthquake last month.

Of the former, I usually have posted a headline of a story of interest and maybe some comment along with a link back to the newspaper’s website. I sometimes use the share feature on newspaper websites and sometimes the effort requires a little more work than that, but I always link back to the newspaper so the newspaper is getting the Web visit and the full credit. I gain nothing from the exercise other than keeping idle hands busy.

Of the latter, the effort to help spread information on what happened, what is happening, and what people can do to help Haitians seems a very tiny effort comparatively speaking. I wish I could do more. It is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and we have an obligation – not as Americans, not as members of one of the richest nations in the world, but as fellow human beings – to do what we can to help. Mainers have represented themselves well in the effort to help Haitians and it makes this Mainer “from away” proud to post those stories of Mainers’ efforts.

When I started this blog only a few short months ago, the intention was to write about and comment upon Maine and Mainers from the perspective of a person now “from away.” I had planned to comment each day.

Things have been hectic lately and sometimes it is a bit overwhelming to try to live up to my own intensions.

But I will strive to be more diligent about updating my blog.

Come back to Letters From Away every so often, won’t you.