BENEFITING: WAYS OUT OF POVERTY FOUNDATION INCORPORATED
Earlier this month, Hurricane Matthew struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti and its neighboring countries. The storm was the largest to make landfall in Haiti in decades, causing severe loss of life and destruction of everything in its path. The southern and southwestern coastal regions of the island nation were severely damaged as the hurricane plowed through, leaving behind a trail of destruction that includes the loss of over thousand human lives, houses, livestock and crops. Countless number of survivors have been displaced and many do not have a home to return to. As water levels rose, so did the level of exposure to communicable diseases such as cholera, which had claimed the lives of thousands in the country in recent years following the deadly earthquake of 2012. The island nation is facing a dire situation where people are dying from hurricane related injuries, starvation and disease outbreaks, all of which it is ill-equipped to deal with without assistance. Dr. Gerald Paul, President of Ways Out Of Poverty Foundation Inc., a native of Haiti, was one of the first people to arrive to Haiti in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake of 2010 to help save lives.
Updates from WOOP's first trip to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew: I just returned from my aid trip to Haiti and I wanted to share with you a little bit about the experience. It was very difficult getting from Port Au Prince to the Southwest, which was one of the hardest hit areas and the focus for the mobile team. It was not very safe and took almost a full day just to travel to this location. Once there, we saw so much devastation around us and sadness in the faces of the people. Yet we were shown such gratitude for our service. There was so much desperation that some risked their lives trying to cross a river because they heard a group brought food on the other side.
Our team spent very long days working with only a thirty minute break each day. We saw on average 225 people per day with all kinds of diseases. We primarily treated gastrointestinal, upper respiratory, lung and skin infections. There were also many people with chronic conditions such as higher blood pressure, cardiac conditions and diabetes. Some had injuries endured from the hurricane and accidents. Our team was grateful to be able to also send all patients home with additional free medicine, rice, beans and cooking oil, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. When we returned to our host home at night, the work day was not over. We put medications in order for the next day and prepared the kits of rice, beans, cooking oils, toothbrushes, clothing for some people. And then, patients would show up at our site at night, and of course we treated them. It was a very successful trip and many, many people were helped. The Board has already started planning the second trip to Haiti. We promise to keep you posted on that.
We brought heartbreaking pictures with us, which will remind us how fortunate we are. They will be available on our website soon. Once the website becomes operational, you will be invited to visit it. Thank you so much for your offering to the WOOP foundation to make this trip and service possible. I am very grateful.
There are numerous organizations mobilized in Haiti to provide support where needed. But with so many in need, that support will not reach all those in need. That is why we have partnered with local health professionals and community groups to reach those in need who would otherwise be forgotten. The task ahead is daunting and we cannot do it ourselves without the financial support of friends, colleagues and our generous partners. We are asking for your support in this great cause. No donation is too small. Ways Out Of Poverty (WOOP) Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts. All donations are tax-deductible and will benefit those in need in Haiti during this crisis. Your donations do not cover traveling or boarding expenses for our team members. WOOP is made up of volunteers and all traveling expenses are self-funded. Please donate with your heart. If you do not feel comfortable donating online, please feel free to send your donation to: Ways Out Of Poverty Foundation, Incorporated 96 School Street Everett, MA 02149 “The generous will themselves be blessed for they share their food with the poor”. (Proverbs 22:9)