Helping Hands to Haiti
Haiti President Rene Preval met with Doc Hendley of Wine to
Water on Monday morning to assess where helping hands are needed most.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, aftershocks brought destruction to more of the Haitian nation.
High Country communities have responded to the devastation of one of the most impoverished nations in the world. Through organizations like Wine to Water, individuals are making an impact by providing basic necessities.
Founded in 2004, Wine to Water brings clean drinking water to impoverished communities internationally. The nonprofit organization has installed wells and filtration systems in Uganda, India, Sudan, and Peru, Ethiopia and Cambodia.
Benefits were held Jan. 22 and 23 at area restaurants by Wine to Water and drew concerned citizens together. Approximately $9,000 was donated to Wine to Water's Haiti Emergency Relief Fund over the weekend. These funds will be used to return clean drinking water to the Haitian people.
Hendley, Wine to Water founder, left for Haiti Sunday, Jan. 24, and will be there until Feb. 5.
Annie Clawson, vice president of Wine to Water, said that the nonprofit group is assessing the state of an outlying coastal community, which has not received aid.
"Wine to Water's goal is to come along-side small local organizations, churches, orphanages or schools to try and help them respond to their own needs the way they would if they had the funding to do so," Clawson said.
"Wine to Water is fully prepared to support partners who have greater capacity to respond to the relief efforts. "
Three million people are estimated to have been affected by the quakes. These people are located in areas where the shocks caused "very strong" to "extreme" shaking. Many in these areas are now homeless and require basic support to live.
Humans are able to survive longer without food than without water. Cases in which individuals have lived longer than a week without water are uncommon, but the average length before death is around four days. When polluted drinking water is ingested, it can lead to dysentery, which, in turn, leads to dehydration and exacerbates the problem.
Aid has also come from the United States government, responding in one of many ways by supplying fresh water. As of Jan. 20, the U.S. Coast Guard had distributed 38.5 tons (62,880 bottles) of water.
The evening of Friday, Jan. 22, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti relief effort in this tax season. Cash donations made after Jan. 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on Dec. 31 of last year. These contributions can be deducted from the 2009 income.
To support Wine to Water's Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, visit http://www.winetowater.org or stop by 703 W. King St. To mail donations, send to PO Box 2567 Boone, N.C., 28607.