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Poverty Alleviation Projects

March 6, 2010

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your February 2010 report for The $10 Club.

Invariably, after disaster strikes, there is a rush of compassionate people who want to help. This was true after the tsunami devastated portions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, or Hurricane Katrina assaulted New Orleans closer to home. And now, the earthquake in Haiti.

But with this outpouring of public support comes the stories of funds not reaching the people on the ground who need it most.

In December 2007 we built a road in Haiti to connect a remote and impoverished community with the nearest hospital – Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS). I am informed that the Gabriel-Tienne Road, repaired two years ago with your support, is sturdy and weathered the earthquake with no problems. Knowing that HAS needs aid – and that they will put our contribution to good use right away tending to people in emergency need – I went back to them to offer our financial relief.

This month, 340 of us joined together to donate $3,400 to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti to fund the salary of a surgical support staff person ($2,700 per year), as well as $700 toward needed maintenance for surgical equipment such as sterilizers. Thank you.

HAS is one of the few surgical hospitals in Haiti that was able to begin treating earthquake victims within hours of the tragedy. Now that the urgency of traumatic injuries is abating, new challenges are emerging in providing preventive care and health services to hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians coming from their 610 square mile service area. Tens of thousands of people have arrived. Trauma teams led by Haitian medical personnel – doctors and nurses they have trained over the years – have been providing life saving care following the earthquake. In two weeks following the earthquake, the hospital treated more than 850 victims, mostly major surgical procedures. This is ten times the normal surgery volume. HAS was one of the very few hospitals able to treat complex injuries immediately following the earthquake.

Although Haiti has faced a number of natural and man-made disasters over the past decade, the recent earthquake is by far the most severe among them. The effects simply have been catastrophic. There has been tremendous loss of human life and a great number of injuries. In addition, there has been great devastation to Haiti's weak infrastructure. Buildings have collapsed, telecommunications services have been greatly reduced, and the human and physical capacity of both international organizations with operations in Haiti and local organizations (such as hospitals and governmental organizations) in or near Port-au-Prince have been greatly impaired. It will be difficult to provide help to people in need in time to save them.

HAS has been fortunate in that its operational facilities have survived the earthquake intact and are ready to help earthquake survivors.

Additionally, the hospital, and the patients in need whom they treat, are fortunate that there are people like you who have sacrificed $10 this month to ensure Haitian earthquake victims can be treated appropriately.

So the next time you see a news report about the conditions in Haiti, rest assured you’ve made a positive difference.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

PS. Please get those donations in if you are due and spread the word about our good work. It’s easy to forward this letter on and appeal to others to be a part of the solution.

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org