I have never seen so many major disasters at one time. We started helping with Hurricane Harvey—and before you know it, there is Hurricane Irma. I haven’t even mentioned the immense fires plaguing the Western United States (we will also take donations to help here) or the earthquake in Mexico.
Irma is a very difficult situation for CRF and all disaster relief groups. It is so huge, and it so close to the time of Harvey. We have all of our disaster equipment already in Texas and had planned on staying for perhaps years. We already have groups going to Portland, Houston, Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Wharton, Ingleside, and Beaumont. But we are determining just how we can help in the Irma destruction. Disaster Response Team, our partner in domestic relief, has teams doing assessment as I am writing this for the best place for us to set up and work in Florida. By the time you are reading this article, I’m sure we will be located and giving a lot of relief in Florida. But I assure you, we will be helping out, and we need your help.
As I said earlier, you have to start somewhere. Our beginning point in this relief effort will be in Haiti. Irma missed most of Haiti, but the high winds and floods caught the northern city of Cap-Haitien—the location of several of CRF’s largest works. The flooding there has not only caused destruction but also contaminated the many shallow wells. As a result, cholera is going to quickly follow this hurricane and cause many more deaths than the actual hurricane. Bobby Moore and I will be leaving soon to assess the damage there.
We want to secure our schools with some initial rebuilding and drill some deeper wells. We have already been drilling there to prevent cholera that became prevalent after the last hurricane. Indeed, it seems like Haiti can’t get a break. CRF is so heavily focused on children that we thought the starting place should be some of our own sponsored children who are in harm’s way.
As we start helping in Cap-Haitien, we will quickly move to help in our own country. CRF certainly understands donor fatigue. We try not to ask too often. But I’ve never seen anything quite like this last month for disasters. Thanks for being so gracious. - Milton Jones, CRF President