By Jenny Pope
DALLAS – When the news of Haiti’s earthquake reached the United States on Jan. 12, Randy Daniels, director of global operations for Buckner, was glued to his TV.
“It was about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and all I could do was sit in front of my television and try to better understand the tragedy,” he said.
Daniels and a group of leaders from Dayspring Family Church in Irving, Texas had visited Haiti one month before the earthquake to tour ministries, hospitals and orphanages as part of an exploratory trip.
[caption id="attachment_2163" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Randy Daniels, along with a team from Dayspring Family Church in Irving, Texas, visited NGOs and orphanages in Haiti one month prior to the earthquake."][/caption]
“I kept listening for names of people I knew, hints of information about those people who we had been talking with a month before,” he said. The team had stayed at Hotel Montana, which was completely destroyed.
The morning after the earthquake, Daniels jumped into action and began making contact with other ministries and NGOs in Haiti. One of those NGOs was Gladys Thomas’ Hope Hospital and Children’s Village in Port Au Prince, which works with Dillon International, Buckner’s international adoption affiliate.
“Hope Hospital was one of the few hospitals left standing,” Daniels said. “They were receiving a lot of people and were in desperate need of some immediate resources to meet the demand.”
Daniels quickly initiated Buckner’s response alongside Dillon International and partner organization Global Aid Network (GAiN) and developed a list of items needed in Haiti, including first aid kits, blankets, medicine and hygiene supplies.
“We were able to enlist support from friends and supporters for a unified response within a couple of days,” he said. “Buckner is not a disaster relief organization, but we are familiar with crisis. We help people in crisis 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We had the connections and we felt called to respond.”
The response to those initial requests was much higher than expected, said David Slover, president of Buckner Foundation.
[caption id="attachment_2164" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Sonjia Dickerson, pastor at Dayspring Family Church, visits with Haitian children during an exploratory trip with Buckner in December 2009."][/caption]
“We have been overwhelmed at the generosity of our supporters over the past two weeks,” Slover said. “Because of their quick response, we have been able to send direct support to Haiti through our partners and will continue to send aid over a period of time.”
Buckner is known for its holistic approach to providing social services around the world, and has been part of a coalition of international providers developing plans to meet the long-term needs of children in Haiti, said Daniels.
“We are looking toward the future now,” he said. “We anticipate Buckner being a part of the rebuilding process in Haiti and will need continued support in order to do so.”
Buckner continues to collect hygiene items and other humanitarian aid supplies at its Center for Humanitarian Aid, 5405 Shoe Drive, Mesquite, Texas for shipment to Haiti. For a complete list of items needed, click here.
To help support Buckner’s relief efforts in Haiti, click here now.