Project Rennwish


Crisis in
Haiti

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January 18th - 15:01

This afternoon, we have our first small victory for those in Les Cayes.  Today, we were able to get some money there, and have started purchasing medicine and food and those much needed goods will be distributed to:  

  • One of the local hospitals;

  • A village that is hosting many refugees from PAP which is now out of food; and

  • And a smaller orphanage outside Les Cayes that is in dire need.  

We are fortunate, as many are still struggling to get any money "in country". We have done so - and we will continue to do so as the funds sent today will only last a day.  

While it is one small step - we are indeed moving forward.

My thanks to all of you...

John.

January 18 - 14:08

Hi folks,

THANK YOU!!! I know I sound like a broken record - but...

As few have mentioned - Rennwish has had many donations from friends of many of yours in this forum simply because they helped get the word out.. Every dollar right now is critical - as all you know... A few have asked what more than can do aside from donate - and that's simply help us "network" out to our friends...

As an aside, it appears that the local article about Rennwish was picked up by AP - and then this AM, Rennwish and all of yo had a mention on the air on a CNN broadcast..? I didn't see it - but, a few questioning e-mails I get are do we have some "staff" (no) - or do we take a percentage (no) - or the "nuts and bolts" as to whether we are a 501c3 (and an EIN, articles, etc.) (YES!)..

Anyway - I'll update totals later, but here is the situation in Les Cayes. I had the chance to finally get through to Adrien last evening via phone (and I snuck in a brief conversation with Shasha - one of the young girls in our care)...

Critical needs: Medicine, food and fuel. Without fuel, there is no electricity. No electricity means the banks and transfer stations don't open. No banks means no money. No money means that basic can't be acquired...

So - I was supposed to hop a flight Sunday with a Military/tech Search and Rescue - BUT - that deployment is delayed.. So - I'm looking at any and all alternatives - and hope to have an update later.. If anyone has any suggestions - please post, OK?? If I can get down there - I can acquire what the estimated 1,500 at the two hospitals need - including food and medicine.

Anyway - just thank you.... Please, let's keep this rolling, OK??

My best always,

John

 

January 17 16:21

I just finally got through to Adrien again in Les Cayes again - this time by phone (YEA - my Haiti Digicel works for now!!!). I wanted to pass on a couple of things he mentioned....

He wants to tell all of you - "thank them in the US, your friends - for all that they do for us...". He is trying to get an e-mail out to me, but, since there is no fuel, there is no electricity, Since there is no electricity, there is no power. Since there is no power - there is no Internet...

As well - in Cayes, food, medicine and fuel are the immediate crisis. Fuel - if you can buy it - is at about $15 (US) per litre. Rice has gone - for a small bag - from $100 Haitian to $250 HD in the past few days. Since these come from PAP, and nothing is coming through - we expect that these prices are also going to increase - which is unbelievable given that no one BEFORE the quake could afford much anyway.

I could go on and on - but I won't... However - the highlight for me personally was that when Adrien called, he was with one of the children in one of our foster programs - Shasha. I had the chance to talk to Shasha briefly... I'd write about that conversation, but.. I can't.. Ummm... She, her brothers and sisters are OK - and that's enough for now. She did ask me to "hug and ask them to make a note to remember her and her friends and village to the people in the USA and say "mesi" to them.."... Shasha's picture is below - from a week or two ago..

Finally - the two rides I had into Haiti in the past days still haven't happened (military/rescue and another as a translator) - given the situation in PAP. I will get into Cayes - and I'm working on another way to get in country in the next few days. If I do - I'll have Jen post - and if I do - we'll get that medicine, food, and your thoughts into the right hands - those hands that need them.

Finally - I want to again - just say "thank you".. To all of you... We can - and we will - get this done. Your support is amazing. You notes are amazing... And while there is no "staff" at Rennwish.org, no national publicity, no TV ads - we are just, well "getting it done"...

And oh - this is Shasha and her bother and sisters during happier times a week or so ago.. I was going to use that picture to update the Rennwish "Family to Child" program - but, well - right now, our family is a lot bigger then we ever expected. It's a village, hospital, community and city...


 

January 16th - 17:35

Apparently there are a number of copies of this thread in the various forums and sites, so I apologize to all of you is you have read this post in one of those threads as well... You see....

I just came home from work - and while I'm trying to prepare to get into Haiti as part of a rescue, if we get clearance, I wanted to say this...

You folks - all of you - are amazing. I am humbled, speechless - and a lot more than a little proud to be your voice to so many in Haiti who have no voice. In short - what we are trying to do - and will do - is actually "adopt" a hospital for the next few weeks and give the children, men & women (I believe there are about 1500 in dire medical need at that hospital as I write this) - the medicine they require, food, water - and most importantly - simply *hope* that we - or rather YOU - have not forgotten nor forsaken them... I don't really know anymore the right words to say. I do know that those in Haiti do not have the right words, either - to express to all of you their thanks. If you doubt that - please read Adrien's e-mail posted earlier, OK?

As well - on to the "nut-and-bolts"...

In the past 28 hours - Rennwish has raised approximately $23,000 for this effort alone. The prelimary figures are:

$14,267 - PayPal
$8,100 - Committed as "checks in the mail";
$700 - eChecks not cleared but in process

I shake my head in disbelief, because - just like you - I find it amazing that so many could care so much...

And we have just started on attacking that $75,000 goal. I know - we will "just get it done" - as you and Rennwish has so often in the past...

To the number of folks that asked if they could defray the PayPal processing expenses, my thanks - but the answer is "no". It's been our "mantra" that if you give "$1" - then "$1" goes to that Rennwish Program. Jen and I have traditionally offset any PayPal or wire transfer or bank expenses from our end. We will continue to do so - as I made that guarantee that your "$1" reaches the children and the people intact and in full. It's what we do and will continue to do...

A few have asked how we intend to get the funds into Haiti to acquire the supplies, etc... That's easy... We need to get some funds immediately into those purchasing the medical supplies - so they can get them into the hands of the hospital and the folks. So, we'll send enough via instant wire services to make the initial purchases for the first few days. At the same time - we will bank-wire direct into the Haitian financial banks the major portion of your funds, but it typically takes those funds about 4-5 days to clear within Haiti.

So - in short - we'll start getting your supplies into Haiti as a trickle, while the major banks clear the majority of the assets - which will insure the funds, medicine, food and necessities of life continue to flow... This is all being done from "within Haiti" itself...

Finally - here and an edited private e-mail I sent to a contributor, who was worried if he'd done enough...

....Honestly? I am so overwhelmed by you and others - I am speechless... Since the earthquake - in private - I've been a mess. I've lost some "friends" - and given the situation, have felt like "what can we really do?" - which pales in comparison to all the International Aid, syndicated charities, etc... But then - as I got in contact with my folks (like Adrien and Marc), knew that there was so much to do...

All we want to do is get aide to the people who need it... One person to one person....

Giving an entire hospital - which has been forsaken so far - medicine, supplies, food, water, - HOPE - is what we do best. In fact -- it is what "we do"...

That "we" is you and the folks who have contributed - have done. It's "person to person". That's personal. That is you.

You made a huge difference - simply by choosing to care....

So, my thanks.... My "job" is easy... My "job" is to ensure that $1.00 donated goes to $1.00 of aid. No newspaper articles. And no clips on major network TV news... No pictures.... No pat on the backs....

Just simply - people-to-people.

My thanks for that,

John

January 15th - 18:20

Again, my thanks.... I'd almost run out of words.. However - I just received this note from Adrien for Port-au-Prince.. I asked him to go to PAP to check on our friends and his family. This e-mail from him is NOT EDITED.... It is what it is - and why we are doing all this.. As you read his note, he has NO IDEA I would post his comments - and please know this is one of my guys - who I trust without question.

My dear brother,

The situation in Haiti is very complicated today. Port-au-prince is broken down and the town should be repaired

Most of the buildings that are broken are the stateís building, like The palace, laws court and some of the Government representative are died during a meeting they had at Montana hotel some of our artist died in Le Flambroyant hotel they had a meeting for the carnival next February, most of the universities are collapsed with student who made an examination at that time and most of them still alive under the ground and they send message text to their family and close friends. Some die because they canít breathe and others because they had hurt.

Now Port-au-Prince is very smell bad because the deaths are everywhere in the streets they the obliged to dug holes to bury the deaths, they put them in a dumbstruck to throw them in holes. And a lot of crying everywhere in Haiti.

What which is hard for some people is because they may be lost a close and they will not see them anymore.

There is no communication, the way is broken the circulation to go there is not good.

I have some of my cousins who hurt but not to bad and their houses are broken.

The people live in the street because they are houseless some who have houses sleep outside because they are afraid of the houses even the people in les cayes they sleep in the street for the same reason.

Even the strangers who come to the country for help, it is true they help but they more focus on the hotel of Montana where they have some their own nation as representative in Haiti.

The people in Port-au-Prince are waterless and foodless. Most of them leave the Capital to go to different places. Now in Les cayes all the hospital are full with people and we donít have enough doctor or medical assistant to take care of them. The representing we have in les cayes to ameliorate the situation and to welcome the new comers let the people leave in the soccer field and ask to every people to come with their help, like to bring water, food, clothes because some of them escape from the Capital with only one clothe and most of them are not from in les cayes so, they donít have any one here they know they come because they find only the opportunity to escape the Capital and they profit to leave. Most of them are died by painful. The situation is very sad.

Now everything is very expensive like thought, like food, gas, even clothes and for the electricity they only give us power for some hours and all the institutions is closed like bank, school, university and all the stateís institution. Now the situation is very hard, sad and complicated in Haiti.

For the money I could not take it from western union but I borrowed it from a friend that I used to buy cement and Iron,when I get the money,I will pay it back.I went to Port-au-prince,I bought waters,juice,breads and some snacks and brought them to the people and then I share the rest of the money to them and their neighbors.They were very happy,they told me thank you and I told them to thank God and my brother John Dunkle and his wife.

My brother it is very Sad.I took some pictures,the internet conection is not very good now,I will send you them next time.

I love you Jen and my brother very very much.

Adrien.

------------

My Reply was:

Hello Brother....

You are not alone - I cry with you for all Haiti is today, after the earthquake. I cry for the people too. What Jen and I and all of Rennwish do is so small compared to the hurt of the people there. I am so sad also to read about what the international community try to save - but, as I say to you another time, I know they try to save their own first. that makes me sad...

Today, I start a new program to save the hospital in Cayes. We try to raise money - and then have Fr. Mark at Espwa buy medical supplies , food, beds for the Haitians at the hospital in Cayes - not for our use - BUT for the use for the people of Haiti - the children especially and those people who are like those who you mention. Your people, family and friends. I think "our" people.

I think we can do all that - just for the people. Not for the USA or for the Chinese or for all the countries, alone - but - more importantly - only for the people in Haiti...

It is OK my brother to cry about all that happens in PAP and Haiti - and all that you see. All that you live through. It is all OK..

You - and the people in Haiti do not cry alone.

We cry with you.

You are not alone. We are with you. All who support Rennwish... Please tell people in Haiti who want to give us a hug - all of us hug them back even more.

And please tell them they are not alone either...

I love you,

Your Brother,

John

January 15th - 16:30

I am about to make this public announcement:

"Buy a Bandage"

What is "Buy a Bandage"? It's a Rennwish (a 501C3) partnership with Pwoje Espwa, based in Les Cayes, Haiti, to subsidize the Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti for emergency medical care, supplies, food, and basic necessities for its operation and relief of earthquake victims. As of today - all those items are depleted.

To help - please visit http://rennwish.org

Summary: Again - I wanted to thank all of you for your words, ideas, support and encouragement. As you know, many of your comments I've shared with some of our friends in Haiti. They are more appreciated thank you may know - or, maybe you do know?

Over the past several days - I've been trying to understand exactly "how" Rennwish can make the greatest impact given our limited exposure and, well - to be frank - limited resources. From our previous projects, we have selected programs, which are guaranteed to directly impact and influence the lives and education of children within Haiti. We believe we have been successful with our "partners" in those efforts - namely the children themselves, the villages, and our more formal partners, such as Pwoje Espwa.

The current crisis and disaster has only strengthened our commitment to the same credo - do as much as we possibly can to effect immediate improvement to those children, women, and men who, as I write this - are suffering unimaginable injuries and trauma.

Therefore, after communicating with Fr. Marc Boisvert - we believe, that together - you, Rennwish and Pwoje Espwa - can assist those injured children, women and men who might be otherwise overlooked immediately by the tremendous International Aid effort underway in Port-au-Prince, Petionville, Jacmel and some additional regions

The Goal: Immediate Requirement: $75,000 ($21,000 Medical/Supplies and $54,000 Emergency food/relief).

In the last few days, Rennwish has received exactly $5,042.00 in contributions earmarked for relief, with another $4,550 committed. All of those monies will be released for their intended purpose specified below. The remaining roughly $65,000 we hope to raise in the next few days - and with your help - by gosh - we can and will do it.

Mission - short term: To subsidize the Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti for emergency medical supplies, food, and basic necessities for its operation and relief of victims. As of today - all those items are depleted. In short, we will buy and distribute Medical supplies for the Les Cayes Hospital, re-stock Pwoje Espwa's medical clinic and provide medicine, food an comfort for many of the injured children, women and men who are strewn throughout the Les Cayes hospital grounds awaiting any relief whatsoever.

The Purpose[: All monies will be wired to Fr. Marc Boisvert at Pwoje Espwa directly into Haiti. As well - that is the same orphanage we partnered with to construct one of several planned Technical Schools. I trust Marc and his staff implicitly and since they are "on site" in the Cayes region - represent our partnership locally for this huge effort.

As well, Marc assures us that if he had the money to acquire the medical supplies and food - he has access to them. So - let's get Marc that money so he can do his part to assist those most in need.

So - here is the dealÖ.

As true to Rennwish's and Pwoje Espwa's legacy - we believe that getting your donations directly into the hands of those most in need sends a powerful message. While we could purchase the items outside of Haiti, pay for packing, pay for shipping, pay for delivery into Haiti and pay more to get them into Les Cayes - that option becomes both cost prohibitive and doesn't allow the emergency supplies to get into the hands that need them most - when they are needed mostÖ Further, it also dilutes your donations with unnecessary packing/shipping/delivery charges. Our intention has always been - and will always be - 100% of what you donate goes to the programs. This program. "Buy a Bandage" is "one of those programs.

You may also ask that isn't this program outside what Rennwish has traditionally undertaken? Yes, it is. As you know, in the past - we have succeeded at building infrastructure in the care and education of children who can go on and change their own community as they mature. However, Rennwish has always responded to where there is the greatest need - which is why we have a legacy of programs in Haiti today. Today's need in Haiti is both acute and life threatening.

We are obligated to respond to those same needs today. Working directly with Fr. Marc, his staff, Pwoje Espwa and the hospital in Les Cayes as they struggle to make a difference in basic human life isn't an option. It's a requirement of "life" for us, the living.

We must not fail.

It really is that simple.

Our thanks,

John Dunkle
Rennwish.org

Fr. Marc Boisvert
Pwoje Espwa - Haiti

January 14th 14:51

Local coverage of Project Rennwish - a newspaper article appearing today.

January 14th 11:45

Just had a conversation with Adrien (he stood in line for 3 hours for three hours to use a temporary phone that was set up to call family/friends in the USA).  He mentioned the following:

There are vast amounts of people leaving Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince to check on family and friends.  However, there is only primary road, which, as he understands is not open.  There are several back routes at twice the distance, but he is unsure whether those are open either either.

The hospital in Les Cayes is desperate need of food, medicine, beds, dressings and basic supplies.  Many remain on the street waiting for any medical attention at all.  I'm sure this pales by comparison to Port-au-Prince.

The next two to three weeks will be critical.  As food, water, medical supplies are already in short supply - we can further expect a displacement of people from Port-au-Prince as an influx into Les Cayes and other outlying cities.  This will tax an already over-stressed region, and given the condition of the infra-structure in Haiti today, I'm not certain International Assistance will be able to reach these cities in time with adequate basic supplies.

 January 13th 17:10 EDT

Finally - Adrien (one of the Rennwish folks in Haiti) was able to grab an internet connection... His area has no phones (and since my Haiti number is tied to that same area - I have no phone into Haiti...)... So - here are snippets of his long e-mail - but, in short - all our kids are OK..!!! I'll share my thoughts I sent to him when he has a chance to reply about what we need to do to assist those in Haiti...

Thank you all who posted in this read, or read this thread, or have supported Rennwish...

"Dear Brother

How are you doing? By our side we are fine but yesterday in Haiti we had an earthquake by 5 pm and it lasted for 1 minute , it did not make a lot of damage in les Cayes but in port-au-prince it broke a lot of buildings, a lot of people die. People that leave in les Cayes are victim because they have their family leave at port-au-price.

Now in Haiti there are a lot people crying for their close family they are lose and until now we donít know the number of death and Injured people we have. They searchers and the investigators keep seeking for the death and injured people.

The mothers and the children are doing okay but there is one of the motherís has a cousin died in Port Ėau-prince at that event.

We have many relatives and friends in Port-au-prince so, We donít know how many victims we have because we donít have any way to communicate, phone does not work.

In our area, there are some wall of some houses that failed down.

There are some deaths in les cayes and a lot of injured people in hospital in les cayes and there is not enough bed for them.

It is a very sad situation for Haiti.

I love you my brother.

Your brother,

Adrien"

 

January 13th 15:15 EDT

Still no way to get through...  I've heard, but can not confirm that the one main road between Port-au-Price and Les Cayes is impassable.  As well, several Twitter blogs are showing some destruction in Les Cayes.

 

January 13th 12:34 EDT

From what I can understand, Port-au-Prince is pretty much a mess, but, like all of you - most of my news is coming from the press... I had the opportunity to get a notice from one of the folks at Pwoje Espwa - and all is OK there... (You can read Marc's BLOG here..... - and yes, Pwoje Espwa needs your support, thoughts and prayers as well....!)!

I've been trying since yesterday afternoon/evening using Internet, phone (land, cell) and some social networking sites Even my Digicel (my cell phone & # for Haiti) phone won't go through..

OK - mostly - I know nothing.. I've heard that one of the schools we built is fine - as well as the 600+ children at Pwoje Espwa (according to Father Marc - the "kids are a little shaken up by the whole thing" (he has a dry sense of humor ;) ).... The other two story school, the other orphanage, the villagers and the children we are support (in our "family to child" programs) are in other districts - and as of now, I have no news about..

I suspect downtown Cayes suffered the most damage in that region, as well as some of the mountain villages in the Petite Riviere area - but, I have no way of knowing for sure?

While it's been a long night for Jen & I - I know it was a longer night for those in Haiti..

I will also add this.. I can not tell you how incredible your words and support means - not really to Jen and I and Project Rennwish - but rather, to those folks in Haiti who are "living this nightmare"... Your pledges and financial contributions - each of them - is gratefully acknowledged and most thankfully received... More than you may know...

I think it's best to keep that momentum up as, once we find out what is needed most (food, water, medical, equipment, etc. ) - then and only then can we decide how to make the largest positive impact during their time of crisis and the ensuing aftermath...

My sincerest thanks to all....

John.