Rainy season coming
HAMMOND, Ind. – Friends of the Orphans, a Chicago-based charity with Roman Catholic roots serving South America and the Caribbean, and Children of Abraham, an Indiana Conference Advance Special with offices at Hammond First UMC, have been resupplying the Saint Damien Children’s Hospital in Haiti.
This 120-bed hospital currently has 700 people in serious or critical condition under its care. Children of Abraham have been supplying medical supplies and many additional beds, as well as food which are being distributed with help from the Italian contingent of the United Nations.
The United Nations is supplying tents to house the additional patients, however, a community of more than 6,000 people is now living in the open or in cardboard boxes and lean-tos in the area around the hospital. Many of them family members of patients. The rainy season begins in about a month, and these people have no shelter, no homes in Port-au-Prince to return to, and relief organizations will be unable to build shelter until sufficient infrastructure is built.
The Italian Army, which has taken responsibility to accomplish this has told us that it will take a minimum of six months, because the rainy season begins soon bringing with it swarms of disease-bearing mosquitoes,
Children of Abraham is partnering with other concerned relief agencies to supply ten-person mosquito netted tents complete with rain tarps. They have multiple suppliers willing to provide these tents, which normally sell in the $350 to $400 range, for $150 each. To allow room to actually live and move around, the tents will be set up for five people or less. It will take 1,200 tents to accomplish this task.
The Rev. David Schrader, pastor of South Bend Grace UMC and Children of Abraham board member, told Together, “We think we can do it and ask Indiana United Methodist congregations to assist us by making a donation to cover the cost of one or more tents. Transportation will be provided through Children of Abraham. The tent city will be organized by Friends of the Orphans and Saint Damien Hospital.”
Donations can be sent to Children of Abraham, 6635 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, IN 46324.