Many drives, one goal: Help for Haiti

Posted January 16, 2010 7:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2010 4:09 p.m. EST

— Across the Triangle Saturday, groups big and small had one goal – to gather the goods and money needed to help save lives in Haiti.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the poor island nation Tuesday. The Pan American Health Organization estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 people perished in the quake. Haiti's prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, told The Associated Press that 100,000 would "seem to be the minimum."

A U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman declared the quake the worst disaster the international organization has ever faced, since so much government and U.N. capacity in the country was demolished.

President Barack Obama met with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to urge Americans to donate to Haiti relief efforts.

In Raleigh, Kitch Joyner, 8, took that call to heart.

"It was kind of sad. We saw a picture in the newspaper. There was a lot of homes destroyed,” he said. “But we are raising a lot of money to help them. We are doing a good deed for Haiti.”

He and a pint-sized sales team sold hot chocolate and donuts to their Webb Street neighbors. Some customers gave as much as $100 for a cup of cocoa.

“We thought it would be too cold for lemonade," Kitch said.

The kids pledged to give all their profits to the Red Cross. In three hours Saturday, they raised more than $1,000.

At Cameron Village, Jennifer Pierce with Soles 4 Souls focused on the feet. Her organization asked people to empty their closets to send shoes to Haiti.

“Our goal is to send 150,000 pairs,” she said. They have gathered more than 12,000 pairs in two days.

Shoes 4 Souls was also seeking volunteers to organize the donations, and donors to provide the money to ship them.

At North Hills, General Manager Bonner Gaylord was touched by what he saw of the tragedy.

"It is just horrific what has happened down there,” he said.

The shopping center was collecting medical supplies to equip doctors headed for Haiti. They will continue to accept goods and money for the effort Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.