Haiti Earthquake Relief Updates
Fact Sheet (PDF):
English | Spanish
I want to volunteer.
Per the IRS, monetary donations for Haiti relief made between 1/11 and 2/28/2010, may be deducted on 2009 tax returns.
Information about members of our relief team in Haiti:
Fr. Rick Frechette | Robin Schwartz | Ferel Bruno
|Haiti Fast Facts
• Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere
• History of instability, violence and dictatorship
• Frequent natural disasters
• Population: 9 Million
• Most people live on less than $2 a day
• Friends of the Orphans has helped orphaned
and abandoned children in Haiti since 1987
• NPH/NPFS is home to 350+ children,
supports 150+ externally and
assists more than 30,000 Haitians each year
• Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, D.O., oversees all
the NPH/NPFS programs in Haiti
January 12, 2011
Father Rick Frechette, Director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos/Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs (NPH/NPFS, Spanish and French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) Haiti
Today when I got up at 5 a.m., I deliberately put on all black clothes, after a disturbed sleep last night where several times i was awakened by thousands of voices wailing and moaning, which I knew were not really there.
A long hard day lay ahead.
It helped me, when I came down for coffee, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours for the Dead ( I hope it helped them too!)
For this first anniversary of our terrible natural disaster (which was not a Divine retribution), I participated in four Masses.
One at the place of the dead, for the dead.
One at the fallen Cathedral with the bishops and priests and people.
One at our own hospital for our own dead,and one at the Sacred Heart Parish for their dead.
If today we were only to remember the horror of the earthquake, none of us would have been able to get out of bed from being heavy with sadness.
We would hardly have needed a special day to remember the earthquake.
It is in our face every day.
The broken buildings, the ragged tents, the hungry and homeless poor.
But today we remember so much more and we remember in a different way.
Instead of our private daily experiences of an earthquake ravaged country and people, we remember it together.
We see and speak our sadness in order to hold each other up with arms and with hope.
To not allow anyone to fall in a chain of friendship and solidarity.
And we remember deeper and wider things.
We remember that sunrises always follow sunsets (no exception so far).
That tide out is always followed by tide in.
That old ones die and new ones are born.
That everything about natural life speaks to us of renewal and new birth.
And as for supernatural life, we believe that God enters directly into suffering to bring redemption.
That our walking woundedness, when coupled with generosity and sacrifice, becomes something else, something wonderful, that make us overflow with light and life.
We remember these things also today, and not just the sadness, and we remember the wonderful international solidarity.
The heroic example of the Haitian people and the fact that God used our weakness over the past year to do great things.
I retired our chalice today, the way a ball club will retire the uniform of an extraordinary player.
The great chalice of 2010.
Every morning, simple wine was poured into that chalice, the cup of sacrifice and salvation.
And it became something else, a cup of life.
And our participation in the transformation is what made us able to do great things as wounded healers, for a whole long year.
Our Lord says, "Do you really think you can drink of the cup I must drink from?"
We say, "We will try, with your help, by God's grace, we will try."
And we did.
Every single day from January 12, 2010 to January 12, 2011.
And it has made all the difference.
The chalice now will be a monument to a devastating year buoyed by steadfast faith, the chalice of 2010, the year we learned that all the promised power of the cup of salvation is true power.
The new chalice, donated to the memory of Francesca Rava, our invisible God sister, is ready to bring us again old mysteries ever new and we are eager for its blessings, starting tomorrow.
Thank you for your emails of support and sympathy today.
We will remember you as we drink from the sacred cup!
Donate to support our repair and relief efforts in Haiti
Update January 7, 2011
One Year Later
As the one-year anniversary of the tragic January 12, 2010, Haitian earthquake arrives, Friends of the Orphans and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos/Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs (NPH/NPFS, Spanish and French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) reflect on events and those affected by the disaster, and remain committed to advancing programs established to help transform the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children.
During the past year, under the watchful eyes of physician and priest Fr. Rick Frechette, the National Director in Haiti, NPH/NPFS and Friends of the Orphans have expanded their continually growing mission. Today, with on-the-ground and financial support from individuals and organizations across the U.S., that mission now encompasses two new orphanages, St. Damien’s Premier Pediatric Hospital, the establishment of new schools, child protection camps, outreach and Cholera medical clinics, and emergency response programs. Since January 2010, the efforts have directly assisted more than one million people.
“A year after the earthquake, hundreds of thousands of Haitians are just now beginning to come to terms with the devastating long-term effects complicated by other factors,” explained Friends of the Orphans President and CEO Sharon Saxelby, referring to the recent Cholera outbreak, extensive flooding and political unrest Haiti has also endured.
“It’s been a frustrating year for many Haitians because of the slow lack of progress on many fronts, but Friends of the Orphans is an example of an organization that has fully committed its resources in a fast and efficient manner.”
Saxelby finished, “Through identifying and addressing the most pressing needs, Friends of the Orphans and NPH/NPFS have been as responsive and encompassing as possible to their situations, and we will continue to make their plights known and encourage donations.”
In addition to NPH/NPFS’ already broad footprint in Haiti, additional programs established in direct response to the earthquake include:
- Fr. Wasson Angels of Light School: Named after NPH/NPFS founder Fr. William B. Wasson, this includes a primary on-site school with room for 750 children and another eight schools offsite for more than 1,100 children. It offers education for those displaced by the earthquake and funds a meal program for
- St. Louis Child Protection Camp: A temporary home located in Tabarre for 118 vulnerable and displaced children. Its capacity will eventually be approximately 350.
- St. Anne Baby House: A medical facility for children 6 years and under that was established in January 2010 for those who needed specialty medical attention. Its capacity is 40 children.
- Maternity and Neo-Natal Wards at St. Damien’s Hospital: To provide care to the most vulnerable pregnant women and infants.
- St. Philomena Rehydration Center: This 130-bed facility assists those suffering from the recent Cholera outbreak and provides lifesaving medical attention. (Read more about our Cholera relief efforts.)
- Expansion of the St. Germaine Rehabilitation Center to address ongoing orthopedic and prosthetics issues for those who lost limbs during the earthquake, and for adult stroke patients.
The earthquake has not only affected those in Haiti, but families and friends here who lost loved ones during the disaster. Friends of the Orphans volunteer Molly Hightower and visitor Ryan Kloos lost their lives when a building they were in collapsed. Their families and friends here in the U.S. have remained steadfast in carrying out their mission to help the children in Haiti, and have rallied financial and widespread community support that has significantly heightened visibility since January.
Erin Kloos, a Friends of the Orphans volunteer, and visitor Rachel Prusynski were severely injured on January 12 but thankfully, have recovered. Both have gone on to continue supporting Friends of the Orphans and its work in Haiti.
In a recent e-mail update to Friends of the Orphans supporters from Haiti, Fr. Rick wrote, “It was a year that revealed to us what we are made of, strength we never knew we had- an ability to bind wounds while we ourselves were wounded, to offer hope when you could only hope to even have hope, to be steady and calm in overwhelming tragedy.”
Saxelby said, “During the past year, the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and keeping true to what Molly, Erin, Ryan and others envisioned have been incredibly poignant, and we will continue working to transform the lives of thousands of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children in Haiti.”
Donate to support our repair and relief efforts in Haiti.
• Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti
• St. Damien Malnutrition Program
• Father Wasson Angels of Light Program
• Updates on American Volunteers in Haiti
• Remembrance given at the Friends of the
Orphans National Board Meeting
• What does Friends of the Orphans Do in Haiti?
• How Can I Help?
• Earthquake in Haiti Fact Sheet
• Message from Fr. Rick
• VIDEO: ABC News at St. Damien Hospital
• VIDEO: NBC Nightly News at St. Damien
• NPH Haiti Fact Sheet/Visitor's Guide
• Helping in Haiti
• Friends of the Orphans Haiti Initiative
• VIDEO: Fr. Rick Frechette in Haiti
• Their Stories: Father Rick Frechette, CP, D.O.
• Rehabilitation and Educational Center for Disabled Children Opens in Haiti