Monday, February 1, 2010

66 orphans come home!

January 30th, 2010
An amazing pilot named Jake Yockers and his crew refused to leave the tarmac in Port au Prince this morning until the orphans he had come to bring home to their families in the US were on it. He told them they could arrest him but he wasn't leaving. Around 5:45pm 66 children, Chareyl, Brent, Scott, and other volunteers landed in Miami. What a miracle. It is still a headache processing paperwork, but they are on US soil and the children's parents are on their way to Miami, will have them in their arms tomorrow, and will be able to take them home within a few days. It truly is a miracle. I have been following the situation very closely for the past 10 days and it has been INTENSE.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I know this is short notice, but wanted to post it anyway....

If someone has crutches, I am willing to come pick them up if you aren't able to get them to a local drop off location. Please note as well, that just because they are gathering many on January 29th, there are some who are collecting them until March for Eagle Scout Projects. If you read this after Jan. 29th and have crutches to donate, I am willing to come pick them up and take care of getting them to those who are still gathering...

(A note from Shannon Cox, Co-Founder of Haitian Roots)

So many people ask me what they can do and here is something:
When my friend Kristin, asked her husband, Dan, what was the worst thing he'd had to do since arriving in Haiti on Tuesday he responded, "amputations." With this in mind, some of Dan's family decided to start collecting crutches to send to Haiti and the docs there thought it was a great idea. If you have access to crutches, old ones you aren't using, etc, please help out:

So here is the plan...

BRONZE EFFORT: Check your garage, closets, attics for the forgotten set of crutches and get them to a drop off location. (Goto for locations.)

SILVER EFFORT: Send this email to your list of friends and family...the more the better!

GOLD EFFORT: Coordinate a similar collection at your workplace, school, or church. Just send us an e-mail ( and we'll let you know how to get started. Remember we want to be done by Friday, January 29th. We'd like to launch all locations on Monday, January 25th.

We have coordinated getting the crutches to Haiti with "Healing Hands for Haiti" who already have a container ready to ship. Check out the blog to see why we decided to do this as well as other logistical information.

Crutches need to be in working order with tips and pads (they are very hard to replace)
Healing Hands for Haiti has also indicated the GREAT need for wheelchairs and pediatric walkers. We'll take those too if you happen to have them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foyer de Sion - New Orphanage In Port-au-prince

A little change in direction. My sister and I were in Guesno Marty's orphanages, here is a little clip, pre-earthquake about the new orphanages that is in the middle of being built. From what we've heard, this building is still standing. I'm anxious to see the haven that they are creating for the orphans.

Check this out:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Cry for Help for Haiti - 4

January 20, 2010

Dear Friends,

Tonight we received this short email from Harry, “I got the money from Dr Booth this afternoon I'm so glad I can buy the food for our kids and the needs.I feel very tired I need to laydonw. Thank you Shannon .” Poor, dear Harry. If anybody needs to lie down it is that heroic, stalwart man. I don’t know if he’s slept in a week.

We have a couple of stories to share with you. They are at the same time miraculous and heartbreaking. The first is that we received some wonderful news that the Dubreus family is safe. Let us preface this by telling you that most of the people in Haiti have never experienced an earthquake and had no clue what was happening when the shaking began. When the quake first started, the Dubreus family was all inside their home. They had no idea what the shaking was but the two youngest boys, Harryson and Denis, immediately had a feeling come over them and shouted to their parents, “We need to go! We need to get out of the house!” They all rushed out of the home. Less than two minutes later, they watched as their home completely crumbled to the ground. How wonderful to know that they are alive. But how sad to watch their home and everything they possess go up into a heap of dust. Regrettably this is the same thing for many of our children—they are safe but the same cannot be said for their homes.

The Dubreus Brothers & their dad:

A tragic but miraculous story is that of our sweet Stevenson Isidor. Stevenson and his mother were in their home when the shaking began. The house crumbled to the ground. Yesterday they FOUND STEVENSON AND HIS BABY BROTHER, KENDY, ALIVE!!! These two boys survived in the rubble for six days. However their dear mother, Amelita Succes, did not make it. She was a single mother. She adored her boys and took care of them the very best she could with the scant resources she had. The way the scene was described, it appears that Amelita tried to shelter her sons as the roof came crumbling down. We were told that she saved them. Both boys have hardly a scratch on them, although we can’t imagine the hunger, thirst, and emotional trauma they have experienced. We are grateful they are alive but we mourn for them. They are currently living with a neighbor. We know that they have several aunts and are guessing they will live with one of them once things calm down a little and we move into the “rebuilding” phase of this whole experience.

Stevenson Isidor in Oct 2008:

Little Kendy (Stevenson's brother) in Oct of 2008:

Here is an updated list of children we know have survived:

Alex Succes
Amanda Pierre Louis
Christella Saintyl
Fabrice Felix
Georges Pierre Louis
Hachely Arly
Harryson Dubreus
Hugues Pierre Louis
Jacky Jean
Jonathan Samuel Cenat
Loudiana Cenat
Samuel Cenat
Maxime Jean
Nadia Rochenel
Ophney Desir
Peterly Lamour
Rodolph Succes
Roudolph Pierre Louis
Samantha Succes
Sarafinah Joseph
Sarah Pierre
Sariah Pierre
Shesley Felix
Spencer Cenat
Stevenson Isidor
Vanessa Veus
Wood Trezard
Woodline Rochenel

We are now adding a new list of children. The children on this list are of very particular concern of ours. We hope and pray that they are okay but the reports we are receiving are that they may have left this earthly sojourn. We are extremely worried for the Olivier family. Their father, Felord, sustained a broken back and was somehow taken to the Dominican Republic for medical assistance. The mother, Juliette, has died. The children, Daryl and Elize are unaccounted for and are presumed to be gone. We are putting them on this list because we have not confirmed the status of these children but we have reason to be EXTREMELY CONCERNED and ask for prayers on their behalf:

Daryl Olivier
Elize Olivier
Faedra Dorcelus
Medsaisha Dorcelus
Mildred Charles

The rest of the children are simply unknown at this time. We have no reason to believe they are not okay (except for the obvious earthquake), we simply have not had any communication or news about them yet.

Thanks again to all of you for your support. We continue to be grateful for your donations sent to us to help ease the suffering of these children and families we love so much in Haiti .


The Haitian Roots Team

(Photos Available at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Cry for Help for Haiti - 3

Another Update from Haitian Roots, as of January 16, 2010:

Dear Friends,

We have been in contact with one of our coordinators, Harry Mardy, via e-mail. He and his family are taking shelter at the LDS ward building in Petion-ville. The church and grounds are packed with people, including the orphans from his orphanage, and, most likely, several of our Haitian Roots children. We have several children who live right in that area and are likely seeking refuge at the church. Petion-ville was hit VERY hard and, because it is in the more mountainous area and the roads are all blocked, has not been able to receive any aid. Harry says they are running out of food and that they are going to start losing people within the next 24 hours. Many of them are starting to get sick, as well. This is especially heartbreaking to me because there was nothing we could do about the earthquake happening but these people have survived and are fine but will die from things that could be easily prevented. If you are the praying sort, we ask that you please pray specifically that aid will be able to get to Petion-ville.

One specific way that we have planned for aid to get to them is through one of our donors, Dr. Jeremy Booth. He is an ER doctor, speaks fluent Creole, loves the Haitian people, and is set to travel to Haiti with a special medical team put together by the LDS church. The team was supposed to fly to Haiti today but have been delayed because of flight restrictions. They hope to fly tomorrow but have been told it may be as late as Monday or Tuesday. Not only is this disturbing because of the immediate needs in Haiti , but the team is losing doctors with each day that passes (due to scheduling difficulties). Harry said that food is available to purchase (although the prices are astronomical) but they don’t have any money and the banks are all shutdown. Dr. Booth is willing to take funds down (and they are available with help from our friends ) to get to Harry.

So, at this time we would aks you to specifically pray for our loved ones in Petion-ville, that roads can be cleared and that they can receive aid. Also, please pray that Dr. Booth will be able to travel tomorrow so that he and his team can help with this aid.

Thank you all for your continued support. Thank you to those of you who have donated to Haitian Roots and to any other aid organization working in Haiti . We are so grateful that Haiti is receiving worldwide attention and response. If you feel inclined to donate through Haitian Roots, we will use every penny of your donation to help ease the suffering in Haiti . You can donate through our website:

To view photos that go along with this message, visit our website home page.

Thank you.

The Haitian Roots Team
609 W. 3850 S.
Riverdale, UT 84405

A Cry for Help for Haiti - 2

Second Update from Shannon Cox, Co-Founder of Haitian Roots as of January 15, 2010:

Dear Friends,

We have finally received some news about specific individuals in Haiti . Isson and Marie France have been in touch with family members and we now know that all of their family in Haiti is safe. All three of our coordinators (Huguette Joseph, Yves Carm Cenat, and Harry Mardy) are safe, as are their immediate family members. We have only been able to account for about 10 of the children in our Haitian Roots program so far. Because our children are spread through out the greater Port au Prince area, it will probably be some time before we know about all of them.

Although Harry Mardy is safe, his home (which also serves as a small orphanage) was destroyed. Luckily all of the orphans were evacuated and are safe. To our deep sorrow, Harry told us that he has lost his mother and his sister, Kenia. Kenia was a beautiful person and very kind. She was very excited about Haitian Roots and had come to help with gatherings of the children several times. She will be greatly missed. Please keep Harry in your prayers.

Kenia -

In addition to these deep personal losses, he must worry about and care for the orphans under his charge, the children in Haitian Roots, as well as a large church congregation of people who all rely on him to help them meet their needs (he is an LDS bishop).

Regarding help for Haiti : Isson is planning to get to Haiti as soon as possible. Marie France is currently in Florida . They will purchase food and medical supplies from an organization there and will have them shipped to Haiti . Luckily Isson has the connections necessary to be able to do these things. He will pick them up in Haiti and get them distributed. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please send us a donation of any amount (mail it to us or send one via paypal: ) and make a note that it is to be used for emergency relief. EVERY PENNY will be used to ease the suffering in Haiti . Looking for other easy and effective way to donate? You can text YELE to 501501. This will make an automatic $5 donation to Yele Haiti . You can text HAITI to 90999 for an automatic $10 donation to The Red Cross.

A note about travel: many of you have expressed an interest in going to Haiti to help. We understand your desire and echo it! However, at this point, medical experts with experience and training in disasters and international health are most needed. Because of logisitical and safety issues, we will not be able to plan to take anybody on any volunteer trips until Isson has been to the country, assessed the situation himself, and is confident that others of us can come to Haiti and truly be of help, rather than a safety concern and liability to our coordinators in the country who are already extremely overwhelmed.

Thanks again to all of you for your love, prayers, and continued support. We will continued to keep you updated as we receive news about the children and others involved with Haitian Roots.


The Haitian Roots Team

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Cry for Help for Haiti

As many of you know my sister Joni and I have been to Haiti to do some service in some orphanages, then I have been blessed with the opportunity to be part of the Haitian Root Team. If you scroll down a bit, you will see more of my story with Haiti: Here is a letter from the co-founder of Haitian Roots concerning the earthquake:

Dear Friends and Supporters of Haitian Roots,

By now most of you have heard that yesterday Haiti experienced the worst earthquake ever recorded in their history—7.0 magnitude. The earthquake devastated Port au Prince and its surrounding areas. At this time communication is extremely limited. We have had some contact via e-mail from people on the ground but have not been able to make contact with any of our family members, Haitian Roots coordinators, or children in Haiti . This is very likely the darkest time in Haiti ’s history. Many of the more sturdy buildings in the Port au Prince area have either collapsed or sustained serious damage, including the Presidential Palace, the UN office, hospitals, and hotels. If these sturdy buildings have been hit hard, we can only imagine what has happened to the structures that our H.R. families are living in. Although news reports here in the US are not mentioning any number of the kind, our contacts in Haiti believe that there are as many as 100,000 deaths.

Thank you all for your love, concern, and prayers for our loved ones in Haiti . We will be accepting emergency fund donations that we will use once we are able to travel to Haiti . Our President, Isson Joseph, is planning to fly down just the moment he is able, but it may be several weeks before the airport in Port au Prince begins running normal flights again. There are many larger organizations involved in the immediate rescue and relief efforts. You can find a list of some of them here: CNN

We will update you as soon as we have any information about our coordinators or children in Haiti .


The Haitian Roots Team
609 W. 3850 S.
Riverdale, UT 84405

Hait-through the eyes of my own camera - 2003