News & Blogs
Letter from NC flood survivor we helped
By: Portlight, 2:47 PM GMT on October 22, 2010
To whom it may concern:
A heartfelt thanks and gratitude goes out to you and the staff at Portlight.
My situation seemed to be hopeless and unbelievable. I felt as if I was in a bad dream my apartment was flooded, but an Angel named John Wilbanks came to my door. He asked if anyone had offered me help? I told him that no one head. He left his card and within days I received a call offering me assistance paying my electric and additional funds to cover my loses. What a wonderful blessing this was. I still have a lot of things to replace, but knowing God will take care of me.
Thank you again, Portlight because you were my Angle and Godsend.
God bless you all;
Please read the story here. Portlight is working to reconnect these two. It is a wonderful story.
11/11/2010 update:Richard Lumarque Hi Cheryl. We contacted someone who thinks the boy is in the Town of Bizoton. She had to leave Haiti for a trip to France but is coming back on the 16th. We are looking. And as i told you, if he is out there, we will find him. Have a blessed week and stay hopeful.
Richard Lumarque Hi Cheryl. We contacted someone who thinks the boy is in the Town of Bizoton. She had to leave Haiti for a trip to France but is coming back on the 16th. We are looking. And as i told you, if he is out there, we will find him. Have a blessed week and stay hopeful.
7 hours ago
Richard Lumarque Cheryl, i just received an e-mail that my contacts already dispatched a group of volunteers from University Quisqueya to go look for him. They have to start from his last known location and go from there. Tomas may have delayed this a little but we are working on it. Keep the faith.·
- Damage report
* By rudy victor
* Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 09:23:56 -0700 (PDT)
good morning all,its a partly cloudy morning here in port au prince , we had
more rain ealry this morning than yesterday ,but things looks better now.
Reports comming from the country side are not good thank god its not what
afraid of but lots of damage,Leogane a city west of port au prince is
,cities along the extreme southwestern peninsula have suffered great damage by
the seas lots of small fishermen's houses are gone.Dame marie,Anse d
hainault,Les irois,Chambellan and lots more have been severely damage by
stormsurge and raging wave.Gonaives is flooded since last night luckily there
not report yet of casualties there most people fled to higher ground before the
storm.a lot of road in the south west are destroyed ,lots of harvest in the
south are lost its another terrible blow for this country but it appear that
there were not a lot of death due to the storm.so far "only" 6 people are
Haiti began this year with the horror of the January 12 earthquake. It appears fate is ending the year by dealing Haiti another terrible hand.
Tomas is forecast to come ashore in Haiti as a hurricane within the next couple of days. With over 1 million people still living in tents and under tarps in makeshift camps, the potential for catastrophic devastation is great.
As you know, we have been delivering aid and services since the earthquake. And, with your help, we will be there to serve in the aftermath of this disaster.
Our focus is twofold: to facilitate the evacuation and shelter of people with disabilities...and to deploy our mobile kitchen to feed people in the days after Tomas moves through.
It would be understandable if you are tired of hearing about Haiti from us. It has been a brutal year for Haitians and the need has been great.
But try to imagine how tiring it must be to have lived the last nine months in a filthy and dangerous camp, with the added burden of negotiating life with a disability...or a child with a disability.
Our mission is to serve the unserved, under served and forgotten people in their hours of greatest need. The people of Haiti...especially people with disabilities there...are the most marginalized people in this hemisphere.
And we are committed to serving them in a way which eases their suffering.
So...please pray for the people of Haiti.
And please make a financial contribution, if you can, to support our efforts there.
Also, please forward this to your e-mail lists, post to your Facebook page etc. and let others know of the need in Haiti and our work there.
We have been on the ground in Haiti since the January 12 earthquake. And, with your continued support, we will be there for this impending disaster. We will focus on feeding survivors and sheltering people with disabilities there.
We are watching the forecasts for Hurricane Tomas in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The NHC gives the storm a chance at making landfall somewhere in Haiti; given that nearly a million and a half people are still living in tents a landfall would be a major catastrophe. Portlight is poised to respond to this situation if it happens and we are ready to commit our resources to provide any assistance that may be necessary.
CHRISTMAS IN HAITI
The following is an open letter from Richard Lumarque, the extraordinary man who headed up our field team in Haiti after the earthquake in January. For those of you who followed our efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake you will remember the amazing job that Richard, his cousin Tabitha and their team did in the early days; they worked miracles and without them we would have accomplished a mere fraction of what we did.
HAITI TOYS FOR CHRISTMAS DREAM
I want to start by thanking you for the interest and sincere caring your organization has shown to the underprivileged and poor people of the island of Haiti.
After being devastated by the earthquake of January 12th of this year where countless people lost their lives and forcing countless men, women and children to live in sub-human conditions, the survivors are now faced with an outbreak of cholera that threatens all of them. With the holidays coming, we want, once again, to come up with a way to give these people a ray of hope. We want to remind them that Portlight Strategies and the good-hearted people of America have not forgotten about them; we want them to know that we share their pain and suffering.
If you watch the news as I do, you will see that the big NGOs with millions of dollars in donations are still facing the same difficulties they have since the earthquake: supplies are locked up in warehouses and not being distributed in a timely manner to help the people that need these supplies the most. After doing some research on how we can make a difference for the Holidays, I think we can accomplish the following objective:
The Sean Penn foundation had taken a special interest in a camp located in the city of Petionville that holds about 40,000 of the homeless. He started a school for primary education which provides about 250 primary school students an opportunity for a quality education. The school was being cared for by another NGO but they too stopped providing the necessary funds to sustain the school. University Quisqueya up to now has been sustaining the operation of the school which employs 8 to 10 teachers with a salary of $400.00US for each teacher. The University is also facing difficult times as the entire University’s buildings had been destroyed by the earthquake.
There is also a school on the outskirts of the city of Jacmel called Centre Educatif de Fond Jean-Noel that provides education for about 600 students from Kindergarten through High School; the students’ ages vary from 5 to 18 years old. They even have a computer lab. That school was also supported by the efforts of the University Quisqueya and again, the funding has dried up. Soon, these 800 students will be without any opportunity for organized education unless we do something. These children are in desperate need of our help.
My dream is to be able to raise enough funds to pay for the salary of about 12 to 15 teachers for the next year. $5,000.00US a month for 12 months = $60,000.00US. In addition to the salaries for the staff, they need all kinds of school supplies; backpacks, pens, pencils, notepads and even lunch boxes. My further hope is to raise enough to buy some simple Christmas presents for about 800 students to bring a small ray of hope to these children whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy.
Also, Haiti has been without electricity for about a month now. They need good quality flashlights, batteries and lanterns to sustain them. The kids are so desperate for a decent education that they are willing to learn with a lamp.
In the face of this devastation, we can make a difference. The key to the future of Haiti will be the children we educate today; these children are the future leaders of Haiti. They can lead these people to progress, democracy and a government without corruption but only if they receive the education that we in America take for granted.
I pray that we can find God’s Grace and Blessing in this endeavor and accomplish this task. We have very little time to accomplish this task but if we give of ourselves, we can do it.
Thank you for all your support, love and caring. God bless Portlight and God Bless the United States of America.
CHRISTMAS IN HAITI
We began this year making a difference in Haiti in the months following the January 12 earthquake. Your contributions provided food, shelter, and water, as well as medical care, equipment and supplies for thousands of Haitians. We cut through bureaucratic red tape and made a significant direct impact.
But it's important to remember: there is still much suffering in Haiti. Over one million people, including tens of thousands of children, are still living in makeshift tent camps. Hope is scarce.
So...let's bring some Holiday Joy to Haiti's children. Let's end this year as we began it: making a difference in Haiti.
What: Christmas in Haiti It is a simple concept. We want to provide Christmas presents for Haitian children living in camps.
When: Over the next two months.
Where: Refugee camps in Haiti
Who: As many children in as many camps as we are able to serve.
How: Well...that's up to you. A contribution of $20 will provide a present for one child. The extent of our reach will depend upon the budget we raise. Our dream is to serve thousands. We'd love to arrange for Santa to visit some of the camps.
Please remember the children of Haiti this Christmas. Please support Christmas in Haiti with your thoughts, prayers...and, of course, your financial contribution.
You can use the PayPal button at www.portlight.org
Or you can make your check payable to: Portlight Strategies, Inc.
and send it to us at: 2043 Maybank Charleston SC 29412
Also....PLEASE share this message...forward it to your e-mail lists, post it to your Facebook page, Tweet it...whatever it takes to spread the story of our work.
Thank you for your faith in these efforts!!!!
Updated: 6:07 PM GMT on November 13, 2010
By: Portlight, 1:18 AM GMT on October 01, 2010
We are in contact now with people in the Philippines about focusing on tending to the needs of people with disabilities there affected by Typhoon Megi. This will almost certainly involve shipping durable medical equipment there for use by shelters and clinics.
We heard from Ms. White's sister this morning. She expressed the family's gratitude for the help we're giving...and stressed that we are the only group to have offered any assistance. She also mentioned that FEMA came to do an assessment on Wednesday....and would make a determination within 2 weeks as to whether or not there had, in fact, been actual flood damage. This in light of the fact that most of her belongings are still floating around in several feet of muddy water. Ya just cannot make this stuff up.
We also received the following from another flood survivor in the area:
My name is katharine george my address is ___ ___________ rd. Vanceboro, nc
28586 . three weeks prior to the flooding my home was broke into and vandalized. among those things destroyed were my mitsubishi 52 inch
big screen tv, dell xps 410 desktop, and a vhs dvd combo. These things were all
purchased before i got so sick i couldnt work fully. then when the flood occured. I lost most everything else i owned. My wsher and dryer i still owe
roughly 4 or 5 payments to. i have been struggling for some time anyway. really i cant make a detailed list of the material items i lost. the money i
needed to pay my car payments and make my insurance and electric and to make my
avon order since i sell avon i have had to use for motels, and currently a camp
ground park and travel back and forth to work. i sure hope some one can help me
in some way
from Dayle White:
"Thank you to everyone who supports Portlight. I'm getting goose bumps as I say this...but y'all are the only group who's offered ANY help. I appreciate it more than I know how to express. God bless you all!"
Dayle White is a widow from Jacksonville, NC, who lost about 60% of her belongings and her landlord is unsure when or if she'll be able to return to her home. Her renters' insurance (Nationwide) is denying her coverage due to lack of flood coverage. She is on a limited fixed income. She is in need of a place to live...as well as clothes and furniture. We want to help her get another apartment, as well as some clothing and furniture. She is particularly upset over the loss of her recliner chair, which was destroyed.
Please help as you can. And know that Ms. White will be grateful.
We are identifying others in need and will post their stories as things come into focus.
We are headed up to eastern North Carolina right now to begin identifying communities that are a good fit for the Portlight mission. Specific information and contacts have been hard to come by today, but being in the area today should make things much easier.
We are also prepared to assist in anyway we can while we are also carrying out an assessment. The Portlight Live Webcam is running for much of this trip and you can view it and participate here:Link
We are beginning to identify needs in Eastern North Carolina in the aftermath of the recent torrential rains there. Many rural, isolated and under served areas will need our help. We are connecting with local officials and pastors who will be instrumental in helping us deliver relief. Our expectation is to deploy our relief trailer and, additionally, a truck loaded with water, food and personal hygiene supplies within the next few days.
If you live in the area and know of specific needs, please post them here. Or WU mail us.
As usual, your support makes this work possible.
Thank you for continuing to make a difference in people's lives.
Vanceboro, NC flooding.
Updated: 1:01 AM GMT on October 18, 2010