Leo McAllister ’24, ECHO Staff Reporter
There were few places this August in greater need than Haiti, a small island in the Caribbean hit by two natural disasters almost simultaneously. A number of organizations in Louisville joined those providing relief to Haiti after an earthquake and tropical storm decimated the country.
Trinity High School has been doing its part to assist those relief efforts.
The New York Times reported, “At least 2,189 people were killed and more than 12,000 injured in the quake (Aug. 14), which caused tremendous damage in an area that is home to about 1.5 million people.”
Two days later Haiti was struck by Tropical Storm Grace.
The Associated Press reported that hospitals were destroyed, 30,000 families were left homeless, and medical equipment was the country’s most immediate need.
Clean water and medical supplies were in tremendous demand after the country suffered a damaged infrastructure. Two Kentucky-based organizations have been working to help Haiti — SOS (Supplies Over Seas) and Water with Blessings.
SOS collects unused medical equipment from hospitals and doctors’ offices. They ship large amounts of medical equipment, often tons, to countries in need.
SOS starts putting together containers filled with medical equipment as soon as they hear the news of a disaster. In this most recent instant Mrs. Denise Sears, the CEO of SOS, and her team began putting together a container an hour after the news was released.
“When you have the ability, the capacity to help someone, then I think you have a moral obligation to do it,” Sears said.
SOS stores equipment that can help in any situation, but there are more specialized needs that must be assembled based on the crisis itself.
They begin to collect funds to back a project only after the containers are filled. There approach is to first respond quickly to the problems at hand.
Trinity will work with SOS later in the year during a quarterly service project.
Another major organization, Water with Blessings, collects donations to fund Sawyer PointOne water filters, which they send to countries that need clean water. They also train people called “Water Women,” mothers who are chosen by Water with Blessings to use the filter and provide water for themselves and three other families.
Sister Larraine Lauter, who runs Water with Blessings, said, “Clean water is the basis of human health. It is the simplest thing to take care of, but it’s often the most neglected.”
These organizations provide aid to many people in need, but they still rely on the generosity of many people to carry out their missions.
Trinity recently donated $6,400 to Water with Blessings. The donations were coordinated by Trinity House and Activities Director Mr. Adam Klein.
“We think of ourselves and what is immediately in our lives as our world, and yet there is so much more to it. There are so many people out there in the world who need our help.”Trinity House and Activities Director, Mr. Adam Klein
There are three distinct ways that Trinity works to help these organizations: collection, education and outreach.
For collection related to Water with Blessings, each Trinity House advising group was asked to donate enough money to fund one Water Woman.
For the educational side, students learned about the organization’s mission through presentations. Advising classes were told about the Water Women they helped to sponsor. Water with Blessings provides the names and even the geolocation of the Water Women to help students see the immediate effects of their efforts.
For the outreach portion of the project, students assisted in the construction of Sawyer PointOne water filters giving them hands-on experience with the devices.
In addition to SOS and Water with Blessings, Trinity plans to work with Dare to Care, an organization that stocks food pantries and helps feed people throughout Kentuckiana who don’t have easy access to food.
Students will visit the pantries and help load pallets with food.