Sorrow's songs uplift Haiti

Article Published: Feb. 11, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

More than five weeks since a devastating earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, the lives affected continue to be rocked by unexpected difficulties.

Although the grounds in Haiti have become less volatile in the past five weeks, many are facing immense change. The effects of a disaster do not only leave buildings damaged. Facing the healing Haitian children, men and women is a more lasting mental upheaval.

Many who had lived much of their lives in the Port-Au-Prince area are being told that they must find new homes and jobs. Relief workers cannot continue helping the Haitian people without support from their communities at home.

It is estimated that 75 percent of the schools in the capital, Port-Au-Prince, have been destroyed. All the schools in the capital are closed. Because of the continued quakes, structures that remained standing have been damaged enough that occupying them would be dangerous.

Added difficulty has risen as United Nations medicines have been sold in hospitals. The UN will not continue shipping medicines to hospitals found selling the UN medicines. An estimated 90 hospitals have been set up following the quake, which include private and public standing structures and field hospitals.

As the dust settles and the extent of the devastation becomes clearer, prudent relief supporters are turning to treat the mental effects of the disaster. Trauma caused by the massive destruction of government institutions, businesses and homes are doubled with loss of friends and family.

The musical event held at Canyons on Wednesday, Feb. 3, gathered concerned citizens together to give what they could to help the Haitian people.

Bart Conway, owner of Canyons, said the concert brought in $1,700 and subsidized it with their sales for the night. The proceeds were given to non-profit group Samaritan's Purse to help the Haitian relief effort.

"We had a very good response, over 100 people," he said. "It was definitely a success. The musicians donated their time. We were able to give a lot more than if we had gone at it alone."

"I don't want to wear this out, but if we could get X amount of restaurants to pick a particular day and every restaurant donate, say, 10 percent of that night's business, then I would certainly do that."

President Barack Obama signed into law the tax benefit for taxpayers who make donations to the Haiti relief effort. The law will be in effect until March 1, and benefits will be deducted from 2009's tax season.

Businesses interested in joining for a day of taking a little less to give much more are encouraged to contact Conway at Canyons at (828)-295-7661.

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