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EIU Astronomy, Haiti and How you can Help January 14, 2010

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, IYA 2009.
Tags: , , , ,

As you saw in a previous post, we have a connection to Haiti, through the EIU Newman Center. Just this last week, Julia Novotny, a astronomy option physics major, and astronomy club member, was delivering five telescopes from the astronomy club to the schools around Barasa, Haiti. They just got back January 9th, safe and sound.

Julia and a teacher from Haiti, with one of the Galileoscope

After the Earthquake, Haiti is not so lucky. Here is a email I received from Roy Lanham today.

At the bottom you can see a list a of places and ways to help

1.  Ann Schwingel (EIU ALUM in Jeremie) emailed me late last night and she is fine.  Minor damage.  Asking for prayers.

2.  Sr. Mary, Patrick and Vivian and Matthew 25 (PAP)(use to be Visitation House) sent out an email this morning:  They are fine.  House sustained minor damage.  They have turned their house and soccer field into a field hospital.  Three Haitian doctors showed up and they are aiding the injured.  Asking for prayers.   Domo and his family are okay.  Gusnord our translator, Serge, Fritznor (translators from other trips) they have not heard from.  They don’t know if they are okay.  Please keep them in your prayers.

3.  Heard from the sisters in Gwo Mon.  They are okay.  minor damage. Some buildings collapsed in Gwn Mon.  Fr. Nesly is in PAP, but he is okay.  Asking us for prayers.

4.  Heard from Michael Ritter.  We are working with him on Gadyen Dlo (clean water)  He is okay.  He stayed in Boudin last night:  here are his exact words:  “I was thinking I would never experience a worst night’s sleep than when I was in Barassa.  I was wrong.”  The rectory was heavily damaged and they stayed outside.  Him and thirty haitians slept on the rocks.

5.  I have heard from Fonkoze.  It looks like everyone is safe, with the exception of some family members who died.  I think Leigh Carter from Washington DC is in Haiti and was injured.  Please keep them in your prayers.

6. We have heard nothing from the folks in Barassa and Fon Veret.  Here is hoping the quake did not do damage up there.  I will contact when I know.  Please keep them in your prayers.


I am going to make three suggestions:

1.  Keep praying.  For you Catholics please add in a prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.  Mary, under this title is the patron saint for Haiti.

2.  For immediate impact:  Give to Catholic Relief Service, or any other aid agency you have come to know and love.  I do know that CRS have people on the ground right now in Haiti.  The devastation is immense, and they will be able to do much good.  You can go directly to www.crs.org.

3.  More long term, as in the weeks and months ahead:  We just don’t know where the long term needs yet.  They are huge even without such a disaster.  However, we are setting up an Earthquake Relief fund starting today.  This fund will be used as the picture becomes clearer in Haiti over the next couple of weeks with our partner groups.  The recovery obviously will be long term.  It will take years I am sure, but I am also certain that in the next couple of weeks direct aid will be needed for the folks we work with in Haiti.  These checks should written to Newman Haiti Fund with earthquake relief in the memo line.  I promise all this money will go to direct relief in Haiti as we see the picture in Haiti more clearly in the weeks to come.

I only have a few emails of HC alumni and others who are friends of Haiti.  Can you please, please pass this email onto other folks from your time here, or you might be interested in giving.

Blessings to you.
Rete ak Bondye,

Roy Lanham


Checks can be sent to Newman Center, 500 Roosevelt street, Charleston Illinois 61920,  made out to “Newman Haiti Fund” with earthquake relief in the memo line.

Even faster is crs.org. They have been lucky to still have facilities working after the quake, with feet on the ground.

For a list of other organizations you can go to CNN’s site of relief organizations


Thanks and Please Help,

Jim  Conwell



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