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Hope for Haiti: Translation of Awareness into Action

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Last year, in hopes of increasing global awareness, a medical mission’s trip to Haiti was made. Many students and adults within the building became more cognizant of some of the real struggles in this beautiful but underdeveloped country.  Apart from being among the poorest country in the world, approximately 79% of Haitians live on less than two US dollars per day. That is about half of what it costs just to eat at Half Hollow Hills West for lunch! To add to the slew of their existing problems, this Caribbean country that already very poor infrastructure is routinely assaulted by tropical storms, hurricanes, and powerful earthquakes. In January 2010, a ravaging earthquake demolished parts of Haiti, killing approximately 90,000 people and displacing more than 1.5 million men, women, and children. Apart from the subsequent cholera epidemic which claimed the lives of many, including infants, people were left with crush injuries to their limbs after being rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings. To this day, handicapped victims from that earthquake can be seen roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. What can be admired about Half Hollow West students is that awareness often leads to genuine concern and that concern then translates into action!  With the compassion and altruistic spirit of Half Hollow Hills West, it was possible to give a generous donation to the Hope for Haiti prosthetic lab. The mission of this lab is to make prosthetics to help men, women, and children who have lost limbs. By doing so, many are able to regain hope and increase their daily functioning. Last year, the Ictus Club was able to host several bake sales and many students participated either by contributing time and or money which helped raise funds for the donation.
In an interview with a Haitian man in his 20′, gratitude was expressed as he wanted to make sure that Half Hollow Hills West received a very special “thank you for taking a moment to care.” Incidentally, he himself is awaiting a prosthetic and does not let his disability affect his perseverance and compassion to serve others as a daily active volunteer in the medical camp. Each one of us can make a difference and together we can make changes that will define our generation.

One seed can start a garden
One moment can change a life
One conversation,
Can start a friendship
One step can start a journey
One word can say so much
One smile can brighten a day
One small act of love,
can mean everything to someone
One person can make a difference,
And to me,
that person is you. –  Clarence Thomas

Source: UN Human Development Index, accessed January 31,2010