Tag Archives: Haiti earthquake

45K For Haiti

The Westport Y Water Rats and Staples swimmers weren’t kidding when they said they’d raise money for Haiti.

Today they — and the Westport Swim Club — presented Save the Children with more than $45,000.  The funds came from this week’s Swim for Haiti event.

On Tuesday — just 3 weeks after the earthquake — more than 250 swimmers ages 6-66 swam as hard as they could, at the Y and Staples.  For the adults and teenagers, that meant over 3 miles each.  Younger swimmers did 200 relay laps.

Sponsorship money poured in from across the country — and Canada, France, even New Zealand.

Peggy Mevs, a lawyer at GE Capital, created Swim for Haiti with help from her husband Ronald Wimer, and Linda Bruce, whose son Cameron is a Staples swim team captain.

Peggy — who was born in Port-au-Prince — has family members who were affected by the quake.   Her children, Max and Gabby Wimer, swim in Westport.

“I’m delighted by outcome,” she said.  “When we went home Tuesday night we knew we had cleared $30,000, but to see another $15,000 come in during the next two days – that’s amazing.

“All this support means a lot to me.  I left Haiti when I was 7, but I have cousins who never left. When they tell me about the devastation I can’t understand how they can cope.  I know Haitians need any help they can get. That’s why I felt I had to do something.”

Pledges are still coming in, and Swim for Haiti will deliver them to Save the Children later this month.  Mevs encourages people who did not pledge to send checks directly to Save the Children, or make a donation online and reference “Westport Swim for Haiti.”

Linda Bruce and Peggy Mevs present a check to Save the Children's Rudolph von Bemuth. In the rear are Robert Reeve (Westport Y CEO) and Timothy Rogers of Save the Children.

Saying Thanks To Save The Children

Save the Children — 1 of the world’s premier aid organizations — began working in Haiti in 1978.  With 200 staff members in that country, they are in great position to deliver aid in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

But being a leading agency means the pressures are great too.  Save the Children staffers here in Westport are raising funds, organizing relief, worrying about victims, worrying about their own friends and colleagues there and here, and doing it all around the clock.

“06880” reader Jane Horton is concerned about the devastation in Haiti — and about what it means for the many Save the Children folks right here on Wilton Road.  She says:

To steal a line from Jack Mitchell:  They probably can use a hug right now.

How do we give them encouragement when they’re not even coming up for air?  How do we tell them we are so proud of the work they are doing for so many mothers and babies?  How do we tell them we’re so sorry for their loss?  I feel like they need to know Westport cares about them.

That’s a great question.  “06880” doesn’t have the answer.  But we’re sure “06880” readers will.

Click on the “Comments” link at the top or bottom of this post.  Let the rest of us know what we can do for Save the Children — as they save the children (and adults) of Haiti.

Or just leave a comment that says “thanks.”

Every little bit helps.

(Click here to make a monetary contribution to Save the Children’s Haiti efforts — or text “Save” to the phone number 20222.)

Haiti Is Here

The news from Haiti — as devastating as it is — may seem distant from Westport.

Haitians working in Fairfield County support relatives back home. Days after the earthquake, the fate of many is still unknown.

But Fairfield County has a substantial Haitian population.  It is centered in Bridgeport and Norwalk — and though we don’t always notice them, we see Haitian men and women every day.  They work in our stores and shops; they serve as nurses, health aides and home care attendants.  One of the biggest local employers of Haitians — before it closed — was Shaw’s.

An “06880” reader reports:

I was talking to the man who collects carts in the parking lot at Stew Leonard’s today.  He does not know if his wife, children, mother or other family members are even alive.   He is certain he has lost his home and everything he has in the world — and he said he has no one to speak to about it.  He is only one of the many Haitians working there.

Westporters can donate to Haitian relief in plenty of ways, including Westport-based Save the Children.  We can also help the Haitians here, if only through the simple act of lending an ear.

Help Haiti

(Photo by Ivanoh Demers/Associated Press)

It usually takes just a minute or 2 to read an “06880” post.

Today, please spend that time donating to Haitian relief efforts.  One of the most well-organized — thanks in part to working in that impoverished country for over 25 years — is Westport-based Save the Children.

Click here to contribute through Save the Children’s secure website.  You can also donate by calling 203-221-4030 or 800-728-3843.

(If you’ve got a few extra seconds, click here to let Pat Robertson know how repugnant his comment was — that the earthquake was divine retribution, as Haiti made a pact with the devil by freeing itself from French rule.  You can also call Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network at 757-226-7000.)

(Ditto Rush Limbaugh:  “We’ve already donated to Haiti.  It’s called the U.S. income tax.”  Call 800-282-2882, or email ElRushbo@eibnet.com.)