Sharing Sisterhood Across the Globe

Sister to Sister is a place to renew for women of all cultures, faiths and races. Coretta Scott King said, "Women, if the soul of the Nation is to be saved, I believe we must become its soul." I would like to add "Earth" instead of "Nation." We need to widen the borders and challenge the world to become a better place. Join the conversation.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Give Your Heart To Haiti

Greetings Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As soon as news of the earthquake in Haiti reached us, we began to organize fundraising efforts for relief work. I belong to an international relief organization, AMURT-AMURTEL. Here in Asheville, NC, we've been fundraising at the stores, and in schools. Many of us have put out calls to our friends nationwide to organize fundraising in their areas, with great success. This week, we collected food, clothing, bedding, medical supplies, educational materials, and in kind donations to send out to AMURT-AMURTEL centers in Haiti. Here is an update on the work going on there:

AMURT & AMURTEL in operation GIVE YOUR HEART TO HAITI continues the work on the ground in Port Au Prince by offering soup kitchens and canteens offering ready to eat meals and bringing in critical resources that are still virtually impossible to attain in Haiti, such as food and fuel. The feeding program is being extended and reinforced next week through several partnerships that will enable the team to offer meals to even more people, for an extended period of time, and in several different locations in the city. The emergency medical clinics and soup kitchen at the Ananda Marga Schools are providing much needed care to thousands of local residents. Most people have been staying outside as a result of the aftershocks.

AMURT & AMURTEL brought in the latest round of relief supplies through the Dominican Republic on Saturday, accompanied by several more team members. The additions to the team have been vital in setting up an additional office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where many agencies are setting up their coordination centers. There is also a large shipment of medical supplies and other aid materials en route to Florida, scheduled to leave from Miami this Wednesday by boat to the Dominican Republic. These items will then be transported over land into Haiti. Additional medical teams and volunteers are scheduled for deployment within the week.

AMURT & AMURTEL have also made significant progress in contacting and partnering with other agencies on the ground, including Catholic Relief Services, the International Organization for Migration, and the World Food Program. Through these partnerships they will immediately start developing programs based on their objectives of targeting vulnerable and marginalized populations - people with disabilities, the elderly, women, and children. The programs will include easily accessible food programs and child friendly trauma evacuation centers.

AMURT & AMURTEL have more than two decades of experience with relief work in Haiti, and have facilitated many ongoing development projects there. AMURTEL particularly focuses on meeting the special needs of women and children in disasters. The teams are responding to this calamity as rapidly and effectively as possible, and will remain far after the triage and immediate relief has been completed.

Financial support is desperately needed. Tax-deductible donations for GIVE YOUR HEART TO HAITI can be made directly at,, or Donations are also being accepted by check made out to AMURT and sent to:

2502 Lindley Terrace
Rockville, MD 20850

From Amy Goodman's Democracy Now broadcast yesterday, I understand that the greatest need in the city of Port au Prince is medical personnel, medical equipment, and supplies for the General Hospital. Please refer to her broadcast at: . There you will hear/see an amazing interview from one of the doctors on the ground.

Please keep Haiti in your hearts and do what you can to help with the relief efforts; and to support future sustainable projects. When considering donating items, it's best to send cash to help support the economy of the country in need for things that can be bought there locally. Otherwise, check in with the on-ground organization to see what their needs are.

Sisterly yours,
Anjali Natarajan
AMURT-AMURTEL Committee Member
Asheville, North Carolina

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