Local Group Plans Mission to Haiti
SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — For the second time in six years, the people of Haiti have to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew tore through the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
“It’s as worse, if not worse, than the earthquake that occurred in 2010,” said Herline Raphael of Helping Hands And Beyond.
The group has taken more than a dozen trips to Haiti over the past several years. The handful of volunteers have even built a clinic down there. At first, the non-profit originally canceled its upcoming week-long trip to Haiti scheduled on October 23. But plans changed after Hurricane Matthew.
“We didn’t have the response on the volunteers so you know what we’ll just cancel the trip,” Raphael recalled. “Well, we reignited the trip!”
Now, they’re rallying support to head back down and help with medical support and hands-on assistance. Raphael’s husband is already down there helping to rebuild some of the destroyed buildings.
“I know I can reach one person at a time,” she added. “Even if it’s with a hot meal or a tent, a blanket, some clothes.”
“The road to recovery is very slow,” said Michael Douglas. “And you can only get a real picture of it if you have been there. And with this hurricane I know it’s going to put them a few steps back.”
Douglas lives in Bushkill now, but is originally from Grenada and has been on four mission trips to Haiti so far.
“To me, it’s personal because I know this hurricane happened in Haiti but it could have as well happened anywhere else.”