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Members of the group I traveled with – I’m on the left -- met local Haitian people in front of Concern's field office.

Before earthquake, I remember a beautiful Haiti

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Members of the group I traveled with – I’m on the left -- met local Haitian people in front of Concern's field office.

To think that people who had very little to begin with don’t even have a change of clothes. They are left with no possessions whatsoever, not even mementoes or family photos of those who have passed before them.  

Walsh was interviewed by Irish radio host Adrian Flannelly of the Irish Radio Network in New York on last Saturday’s program where she gave an update on the current situation in Haiti. She indicated that the response effort in the next six months needs to be massive. 

Basically, Concern will have to start all over again from Day One to get people back to where they were in order for progress to occur, which could inevitably take years to recover from. 

While in Africa recently, Walsh sought the assistance of Digicel CEO Denis O’Brien who helped to get Concern’s aid workers and relief supplies into Haiti. She explained, “We’re trying to respond to the needs on the ground with food supplies. It’s critical to get the aid into the hands of the people.” 

Fortunately, Concern CEO Tom Arnold and Concern Worldwide U.S. Operations Director Dominic MacSorley are on the ground in Haiti.   Clearly, Concern has a dedicated team who are working around the clock doing all possible for the Haitian people.

If any good can come out of this situation, perhaps it is the fact that Haiti has been highlighted from a global standpoint where the need to recover is in the forefront. Though much damage and loss of life has tragically occurred, maybe worldwide exposure is what Haiti needs in order to rebuild, along with ongoing assistance from the U.S. and other nations, including humanitarian efforts by individuals who care.

Despite the tough economic times in the United States, Ireland and globally, people from all walks of life still want to help Haiti in ways big and small.

President Obama has demonstrated his leadership by entrusting former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead the relief effort for Haiti. That said, we have to do our part as well. 

We’ve all seen the news reports on television and on the Internet bringing us graphic coverage of a country in ruins. This is a headline that cannot disappear. 

Concern Worldwide desperately needs your financial support to continue providing aid to the people of Haiti. An emergency appeal has been launched in an effort to raise $7.5 million in order to fill a charter relief flight with vital supplies, such as of Plumpy’nut (an edible high protein peanut based paste), bladder tanks, plastic sheeting, jerry cans (fuel and water containers), and other vital life saving supplies. 

While good intentions and prayers are important too and, no doubt, go a long way, the destruction in Haiti is of epic proportion, so please do what you can for those who are less fortunate. Even a small donation can help in big ways.

For example, $3.25 for a supply of Plumpy’nut would help keep a child alive. Or, if you’d like to donate your time to Concern Worldwide on a fundraising effort, event, or even in the U.S. headquarters in Manhattan, please call. 

As Father Aengus often said, “The support of our regular donors and supporters are the bread and butter of our organization.” May his legacy and the work of Concern Worldwide continue.

Right now the people of Haiti truly need our assistance and the Irish charity Concern is on the front lines ready and willing to help. “Mèsi anpil”…Haitian Creole for “Thank you very much.”

Concern Worldwide U.S. is located at 104 East 40th Street in New York. Call 212-557-8000 or 1-800-59-CONCERN. Also visit www.concernusa.org/HaitiAppeal.

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