Islanders open their hearts
6 WNY churches
coming together Sunday to perform
for Haiti” benefit concert
By Kelly Petrie
We’ve all seen
the gut-wrenching images…the devastation of human life and land left by the
recent Haitian Earthquake. As if it wasn’t bad enough before.
Imagine having to
walk 7 hours to visit your doctor. Many of us drive around and around the
supermarket parking lot hoping for that near-by spot so that we don’t have to
walk further, yet we have perfectly capable feet. We complain when the store has
run out of inventory, though we are not hungry. Imagine, for just one minute,
that you had to go without running water for even half the day, or without
sanitary products, soap, shoes, or shelter. When we are sick, we have the luxury
of calling or emailing our doctor for advice, or seeing him within minutes or
hours. Though our healthcare may not be perfect, or as cheap as we may like it,
we at least have it. Now imagine, walking those 7 hours, literally sick and
exhausted, simply to get medical care. For thousands of Haitian people, this is
But thanks to some good
hearted people of Grand Island and the surrounding Buffalo area who have
traveled to Haiti over the last 6 years, the future of Haitian Healthcare is
about to improve.
member of Trinity United Methodist Church and longtime Rotarian, has spearheaded
a mission project to establish a new medical clinic.
says, “A medical team made up of people from Grand Island and the surrounding
Buffalo suburbs has traveled to Haiti over the last six years.
We have set up temporary medical clinics each year in churches located in
villages near LeCayes for one week each trip.
During each week, they typically see 750 patients. There is only one
doctor for every 20,000 people in Haiti.” Imagine that line! We complain when
our doctors are an hour behind!
continues, “There needs to be a more permanent solution to the medical needs
of the area. To accomplish this, we
are raising money to build a permanent clinic.
The new clinic will serve 8,000 people from the surrounding area.
It will be staffed six days a week with nurses, technicians, and a
doctor, which will travel to the clinic on a weekly basis.
Most people in Haiti have next to no medical care due to the lack of
money and transportation. Currently
a patient without any transportation means must walk 7 hours from the village of
Maniche for medical care.
Clubs have been raising funds to equip this clinic, lab, and pharmacy.
We are working with churches to help fund the construction of the
building. The cost for the equipment and training is $25,000 and another $25,000
for the building. Our goal is to have by the year 2011, a fully operational,
successful, and self-sustaining clinic for the village of Maniche where services
will be low cost, and nobody is turned away for lack of funds.”
March 21st at 2pm at Trinity Church
musicians from 6 churches from the WNY area, including Trinity and St. Martin in
the Field of Grand Island, along with The
Brighton Community Church Choir (Tonawanda), First UMC Church Choir (North
Tonawanda), St. John Vianney Church Choir (West Seneca), Trinity UMC Choir
(Amherst), and the Grand Island Community Chorus will perform a “CHANGE FOR HAITI” benefit concert. to help fund the medical clinic
mission project. Though this project has been in development for years, the
current destruction and devastation means stable health care is more critical.