Portlight Disaster Relief

4 Amish Children Die in Kentucky Flooding

By: Portlight, 4:21 PM GMT on February 21, 2011

We just spoke with Sheriff Dewayne Redmon of Graves County, Kentucky, about this. He said that the Amish up there, in the midst of their own tragedy, are bringing food to the volunteers on the scene. Please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers. They inspire us all.

(CNN) -- The bodies of three of four children who were swept away in a creek swollen by storm waters were recovered early Friday morning, authorities in Kentucky said.

The first body was recovered shortly after midnight; the other two located about 30 minutes later, said Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon.

The search continued for the fourth missing child Friday morning.

The children were traveling with their Amish family in a horse-drawn carriage on a flooded street in Graves County when the carriage flipped over Thursday evening, said Jerry Beasley, a Kentucky State Police spokesman.

In all, there were six children and their mother in the carriage, Beasley said

The mother and two of the children were able to get to a safe area. But the other four children were swept away with the carriage into a nearby creek.

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Believe it or not, the 2011 Hurricane Season starts in about 100 days. So the time has come for us to begin to prepare to respond.

At the center of our response efforts will be deployment of our mobile kitchen. We can think of no better way to begin filling the post disaster needs of the unserved, under served and forgotten than to make sure they have food.

Our equipment is packed into our relief trailer, ready to move as needed.

Over the next three months, we will work to build up our supplies of storeable food.

We are also going to be asking your help to build our financial reserves so that, when disaster strikes, we can purchase fuel for our vehicles and generators...as well as frozen and refrigerated foods, ice, etc.

We understand how difficult it is to imagine the need before it happens. But we're asking you to try.

Your financial support now will greatly and positively impact our efficient response then.

So...you've been an integral part of how effectively we respond to the needs of the unserved, under served and forgotten. From the Texas Gulf Coast to Haiti, we are making an important difference.

Please continue to support our efforts on behalf of those who need the most help.

You can make a contribution using the PayPal button above or at our website: www.portlight.org


You can mail a check to:

Portlight Strategies, Inc.
60 Fenwick Hall Allee
Johns Island SC 29455

Updated: 3:41 PM GMT on February 25, 2011


Haiti...moving forward

By: Portlight, 8:03 PM GMT on February 11, 2011

Those injured in the Haiti earthquake are in desperate need of shelter.

We are committed to supporting the effort outlined in the letter below.

Your contribution will have lasting impact. Please use the PayPal button or mail your check to: Portlight Strategies, Inc. 60 Fenwick Hall Allee Suite 721 Johns Island, SC 29455

I am a physical therapist who has been volunteering and working in Haiti since March of 2010. My main responsibility was oversight of the spinal cord injury unit in one of the hospitals within Port-au-Prince. As Haiti is moving past the disaster relief phase and concentrating on rebuilding, my hope is that those who have disabilities are not forgotten.

I am writing today in order to voice my concern for individuals with spinal cord injuries who are living in Haiti. Let me share some of their stories.

Elourdes was a newlywed who had been married for just a few months when the earthquake struck. Her back was fractured and she was trapped when her house collapsed on her on January 12, 2010. Luckily, she was rescued and her life was saved. Today she is still hospitalized due to the significant wounds she gained while laying under rubble for days and then on a cot for several more weeks following the earthquake. She will be ready for discharge in the next few months as her wounds fully heal, and she talks about wanting to raise a family when she leaves the hospital. But before she can even think about returning to life outside the hospital, she remembers that she has no home and no belongings outside of what she has acquired during her hospital stay.

Stephanie is a 14 year old girl who sustained a fracture in her back. She will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She understands that fact, but what she is struggling with is that she can no longer attend school. The school has agreed to continue to allow her to attend, but the tent where she lives is on the top of an inaccessible hill. Even if she was carried from her home to the roadway, her morning trek to school was an hour walk. In reality, this trip to school would be several hours pushing a chair through the uneven terrain and rubble, many parts requiring assistance for this young teenager which is not available to her.

Junior is a young man who, following his spinal cord injury, was abandoned by his family. Already struggling to find money for food, his family was unwilling to resume care for Junior after his injury. He was considered one additional mouth to feed and a burden to the family. However, SCI Haiti Project was able to provide housing for Junior and his friend Jean-Claude so that the two young men with paraplegia could live with Jean-Claude’s family. Now Junior has started working and is helping to contribute financially for his new friends who he calls family. But there are many more like Junior who need our help.

SCI Haiti Project was created to help provide safe and accessible housing and assistance to individuals with spinal cord injuries or other significant physical disabilities living in Haiti. Without safe shelter on level ground, these individuals are trapped and unable to truly participate in life. SCI Haiti Project is able to partner with local organizations to supply shelter homes. Shelters can be manufactured and assembled for approximately $4,500 each. These homes can house a family of 6 and are accessible for wheelchair users. Accessible shelter is the first step to promoting community reintegration and improving quality of life for patients with spinal cord injuries.

SCI Haiti Project’s goal is to provide accessible housing to earthquake victims whose homes and bodies were broken during the earthquake. SCI Haiti project hopes to relocate families of children with spinal cord injuries to homes on flat land and close to their schools. SCI Haiti Project plans to continue to be able to provide shelter and assistance to those with spinal cord injuries who are abandoned by their families and are terrified of being homeless and left alone in the world.

After the earthquake, doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals helped to save the lives of people with spinal cord injuries. However, it is now time to work together in order to provide them the opportunity to live.

Alyson Cavanaugh, PT


Portlight Disaster Relief

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