Help for Haiti

Cassandra Meuret

The poverty stricken country of Haiti suffered a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake Jan. 12 leaving the country in ruins but allowing a chance for the students and staff members of Downey High School to help those with no hope.

Haiti is considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere with little chance of ever improving its unfortunate situation.

“ Haiti has been ignored for the past few decades.  We are aware of how poor they are, yet we have done nothing to help them,” Government teacher, Mr. Nevarez said.

Many charities have donated to Haiti but more needs to be done. Downey High School has developed a number of fundraisers taking place January 20th through the 28th, with a goal of reaching 10,000 dollars.  That goal has been half completed since it has been reported that 5,972 dollars have been raised so far. It is up to the Vikings to show some compassion and really put our generosity to the test.

“It’s similar to when a neighbors house burns down. You want to do all you can for them to help, “Principal Houts said.

Fundraisers on campus allow students and staff to contribute all they can to help mend a broken country. By donating just one dollar a ribbon symbolizing the Haitian flag can be worn in support. Hats and hoodies are being worn for a dollar, which breaks the school dress code for a worthy cause. Students can wake up late without the worry of Tardy Sweep as long as they have two dollars to buy their way out of misery.

Money is greatly appreciated but not the only contribution that can be made. Soles for Souls encourages students to dig through closets to find shoes that can be donated to the suffering victims of Haiti.

“Just put yourself in their situation. We should help as much as we can,” junior Madona Tadros said.

Resources are scarce, and the Haitians struggle to survive on a daily basis searching for ways to feed their families and themselves. Most Haitians were already struggling through life before catastrophe hit. Now chances of survival are slim. The state capitol, hospitals, houses and businesses have all either been destroyed or suffered severe damage. One and a half million people are left homeless to sleep on crowded streets. An estimated 200,000 people are dead and 380,000 children are left orphaned.

It is obvious to the rest of the caring world that Haiti is in dire need of help. The country needs money to rebuild all that has been destroyed. Raw supplies are helpful but with unstable ports and an overly crowded airport it is hard to say when the victims could actually get the supplies delivered to them. Money is the needed resource that would benefit the country immensely and give the people hope of overcoming this disaster.