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Area schools, churches, organizations raise funds for Haiti

Sporting "Hats for Haiti" are, left to right: Katie Haverkamp, Carissa Raaen and Brittnay Rislund. The Lake Park-Audubon FCCLA students raised over $250 through their innovative fund-raiser.

The earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital city of Port au Prince on Tuesday, Jan. 12 has many people wondering what they can do to help.

Many have opted to send donations to international organizations that have been mobilized to meet the large-scale needs of Haiti's people.

Some of those organizations include Lutheran World Relief (www.lwr.org); American Red Cross (americanredcross.org); Unicef (supportunicef.org); Oxfam International (www.oxfam.org); Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org) and ELCA Disaster Response (www.elca.org).

TeacHaiti, the Detroit Lakes-based charitable organization dedicated to improving educational opportunities for the children of Haiti, has established an Earthquake Educational Recovery Fund.

Donations earmarked for this fund will be used over the long term of earthquake recovery to aid TeacHaiti students so that they will be able to return to school and continue their education.

These funds may be used for clothing, uniforms, supplies, school admission fees and other needs as allocated by the Board of Directors. Donations will be received at TeacHaiti, PO. Box 1173, Detroit Lakes, MN 56502.

The board of TeacHaiti has also established an emergency fund to assist the organization's founder, Miquette Denie, and her family, who have been left temporarily without income during the recovery. The school where Denie worked before the quake is not in session; rather, she is volunteering at the clinic/hospital that has been established at the school.

Denie wrote this recent e-mail update to the TeacHaiti board: "This morning around 6 a.m. I felt the house shaking very strongly, many people panicked. I am back at the school now and I am fine... There is constant fear, today I truly thought the house was going to collapse over all of us. I hate this feeling of crippling fear. Please pray for strength."

The Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club, which sponsored Denie when she lived and attended school in Detroit Lakes on a Rotary Exchange scholarship several years ago, has also been collecting donations to send to Denie and her family to help support them during the recovery.

Further updates will be posted at TeacHaiti's Web site, www.teachaiti.org. News from Miquette and information about the organization's sponsored students will be posted as it becomes available.

Kids Against Hunger

Two local churches, Trinity Lutheran and First Lutheran in Detroit Lakes, are joining forces on Saturday, Feb. 13 to help prepare bags of non-perishable food to be distributed via Kids Against Hunger. (The event was rescheduled from Jan. 23 due to weather.)

According to Rev. Dan Babine, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, volunteers will be putting a mixture of rice, freeze-dried vegetables and soy powder into quart-size plastic bags.

"The portions were developed by Cargill," Babine said. "All people need to do is boil the appropriate amount of water, dump it into the bag, and let it cook. One bag will provide a nutritious meal for six people."

The bags from Detroit Lakes will be brought to the New Hope, Minn.-based Kids Against Hunger by Rev. Mark Waller of First Baptist Church in Park Rapids, who has worked with the organization in the past, Babine said.

"The goal is to package as many meals as we can, and hopefully get them distributed to Haiti," he added.

The volunteers will be working in two shifts, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and from noon to 2 p.m. Though the effort is being spearheaded by the two local churches, any and all volunteers are welcome, Babine added.

For more information, contact Pastor Dan Babine at 218-847-7211.

Hats for Haiti

Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members from the Lake Park-Audubon High School knew that they wanted to help the families devastated by the recent earthquakes in Haiti.

By allowing students in the high school building to "purchase a privilege" to wear a hat during school hours, the LPA High School raised over $250 in less than half an hour.

In addition, the LP-A School is working with a community member who was on a mission trip in Haiti during the time of the earth quake, to provide the students with an "inside" perspective on the living conditions of the people in Haiti.

"We were pleasantly surprised by the total donations collected in such a short time. We hope that our contribution can help families in Haiti, if even in a small way," stated FCCLA member Katie Haverkamp.

LPA FCCLA members that organized the "Hats for Haiti" event included: Katie Haverkamp, Carissa Raaen and Brittnay Rislund.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454
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