On Monday, Sailors from the pastoral care department brought toys and clothes to children who are being treated at the University of Miami Field Hospital.
Volunteers there greeted our Sailors with open arms and welcomed their desire to help. The head volunteer RN there said, “The kids get bored and [the Sailors] play with them so that leaves more time to attend to the really sick ones, the ones who can’t get out of bed.”
Chaplian Joe Molina organized the day’s events, working with St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic School in Winter Part, Fla. Kids from the school donated toys, clothes, games and books to patients to help ease the transition of a country in ruins to one being reborn. Their generosity came at a time when leisure diversions are scarce in the Haiti.
The items were originally intended for patients being treated aboard Comfort, but the donations were so bountiful, Molina had more than enough to distribute them to other children in need.
Everyone who participated said they really enjoyed the opportunity to provide something for the kids there to help ease there troubles in some small way.
Comfort is not currently accepting donations, but if you are interested in providing donations to Haiti, USAID recommends assisting relief efforts by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Haiti may be available at http://www.reliefweb.int/ and www.usaid.gov/haiti. USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.