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When the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, thousands of people were killed and even more were injured.
With little sound infrastructure in place, it was immediately clear rescue and relief efforts originating beyond Haiti’s borders would be key in survival for a country devastated by this natural disaster.
Here in Brunswick County, many residents wanted to know how they could help. Some took to aiding national organizations, like the American Red Cross, with fundraising efforts aimed at assisting those in need.
As stories about efforts to help emerged, we quickly learned many Brunswick Countians were ready to start relief efforts right here in our community.
Deborah Blythe, pastor of Shallotte’s Liberty Tabernacle, already knew about the needs of the Haitian people. Her church sponsors an orphanage there. Since the earthquake hit, 60 children from Hope Orphanage have been without shelter, sleeping outdoors.
The church has been working since then to collect more donations for the orphanage, as well as churches and other Haitians it helps.
To lend a hand to Liberty Tabernacle’s efforts, visit www.libertab.org online.
Mount Olive Baptist Church members are planning to help those in Haiti by lifting their voices in praise. A 7 p.m. Jan. 24 gospel sing will collect money for a Haiti relief effort. Those funds will be shared with Mission Haiti based near Asheville.
Faith-Building Missions in Ocean Isle Beach has joined with Haiti Food for the Poor out of Florida to help with humanitarian efforts in Haiti. This group’s efforts were started after Dean Siler, of Faith-Building Missions, saw a man on television holding a can of food to his heart. That inspired this group to collect water and nonperishable food items. For more information on how to help, call 755-6888.
The folks at Building HOPE Ministries have also been touched by the tragedy in Haiti. The Rev. Donna Phelps is hoping to do all she can to help the Haitian people.
“People are not invisible, and they need our prayers and our help,” she said.
To help Building Hope Ministries with its collection of medical supplies, hygiene products and blankets, call 842-9418.
The Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross is also helping with relief efforts in Haiti. To find out some of the many ways to contribute to Red Cross efforts, visit www.redcross.org or call 762-2686.