Concord and Carlisle work to help Haiti

Efforts have begun at several Concord schools and churches to provide disaster relief to Haiti, after an earthquake rocked the country Jan. 12.

At CCHS, Principal Peter Badalament said there are "a lot of good ideas going around" the school, which has several students with friends and family connections to the Haiti earthquake. The school hopes to coordinate its efforts, and Badalament expects a relief coordinator will be named by the end of the day. The emphasis will be on cash because, as he said, that's "what's most sorely needed by relief agencies." One fundraising effort already planned: the school will be selling lengths of duct tape for $1 and Badalament will let students tape him up/mummify him in the cafeteria at noon on Tuesday.

Willard School and Concord Middle School officials said they also had plans for fundraisers. Willard hoped to identify a school in Haiti to send proceeds to, Principal Pat Fernandes said.

At Concord Academy, Concord Academy Service Activists have set up collection receptacles throughout school and have collected about $4,000 so far, including a $1,000 anonymous donation. CASA is also planning a bake sale for Jan. 19. All funds raised will be split between Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health.

Collections baskets to benefit Haiti were put out in several Concord churches over the weekend. After the news of the earthquake, First Parish of Concord made a $5,000 donation from its social action grants pool to the UUSC/UUA joint Haiti earthquake relief fund and also  held plate collections this past weekend. "This is kind of our immediate reaction," said Faith Bade, the church's social action program director. "And then we're going to decide what the next step is."

Holy Family put baskets at the doors of the church this past weekend to collect money for victims. The proceeds will be sent to the Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation.

Emerson Hospital made a $1,000 corporate contribution to Partners in Health and is working with the Massachusetts Hospital Association to coordinate a supplies donation, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The day after the earthquake, Carlisle-based nonprofit Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) launched an emergency appeal and assessment in response to the earthquake and created the Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund to accept monetary donations.

On Monday, HODR’s assessment team was gathering in Miami to flesh out logistics and finalize plans to fly into the Dominican Republic and trek over to Haiti within the week. 

Founded by Carlisle resident David Campbell after the tsunami in 2004, HODR is a relief and response organization that matches people who want to help with people in need by facilitating volunteering response projects in the weeks and months following a disaster.

“It’s going to be awful,” Campbell said when reached by phone from Miami. “It will take a massive relief effort and a massive recovery effort.”

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