CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — As Hurricane Matthew packed a punch through western Haiti on Tuesday, organizations from around the world have packed up millions of meals and supplies to have on standby for the impacted nation.
One of those organizations is based out of Cedar Park, called Mission of Hope Haiti.
“Our commitment to the people of Haiti is both in the relief effort that’s going to happen in the next 14 days, but then there’s a recovery part that we’re going to be there for them in the long term sustainability,” says Brad Johnson, President of Mission of Hope Haiti.
Johnson says the first 48 hours after a storm like this are the most crucial because access to food and shelter could be blocked or destroyed. That’s why more than 30 people here at home have been planning and communicating with teams on the ground in Haiti.
“We’re in the process of going after 350,000 units of water to deliver throughout the country through our 500 partners through Haiti One that are there,” says Johnson. “We’re also working to deliver 35 million meals throughout the country, also 750,000 temporary shelters that we hope to be able to provide for families that are going to lose their homes, we project. As well as see to be able to see about 20,000 patients per day throughout the country, medically.”
Johnson tells us, “The biggest concern right now for Haitians is that literally millions of people are going to be without the essentials they need to live. Many houses are going to be gone because most people right now are living in houses that are made of sticks and tin.”
One person who knows the struggle and impact of natural disasters in Haiti is Ruben Cenea. Cenea has been working with Mission of Hope for seven years, but for him, it’s more than just a job. It’s an opportunity for him to help a nation that he calls home.
“I was born when I was in Haiti,” says Cenea. “I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen a lot of hard days and hard moments, so I always tell my wife there’s not a better thing to do at the moment than to give my time.”
For a country that is still recovering from the earthquake in 2010, help is greatly needed and accepted across the country.
“What we do, we need your help,” Cenea stresses. “Whoever you are, whatever you can do, can be useful to the people of Haiti.”
If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so by visiting www.mohhaiti.org/relief or text to give by texting “@mohhaiti” to 52014.