Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blankets for Haiti..THANK YOU!!!

This blog affords us a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Dawn Sharpe has joined the Executive this year, heading up our Community Projects, and what a great addition to our team!
Dawn is recently retired from the Emergency department at the DECH (although she still spends many hours there filling in when they are short-staffed) and is enjoying more time at her sewing machine, making quilts, draperies and various other projects. Dawn is one of the kindest, most thoughtful and generous people I know; she is always there when family, friends or neighbours need help, and she has instilled these traits in her family as well. Dawn raised a family of seven- six boys plus daughter Robyn, also a FQG member, and what a fine family they are.
Dawn's son Chris had travelled to Haiti 13 times to help set up, build and maintain an orphanage in Jacmel. Upon hearing of the recent tragic earthquake there, he knew he had to return to help out wherever he could. Within the first few days when things were rather chaotic, Chris was instrumental in helping the Canadian military organize and arrange access to Haiti. After listening to CBC radio, and hearing of the chaos and confusion over how to land and get supplies and equipment in to Port au Prince, he called CBC to tell them there was another way. He was passed on to someone in Toronto, and before long was telling the Canadian military of the airstrip and deep water port in Jacmel. Suffice it to say that they were very grateful for Chris's first hand knowledge and experience in the area. Chris was on his way to Jacmel a few days later, and worked with our Canadian troops while there, serving as a liaison between the Mayor of Jacmel and other "Officials" there and the military.
Upon his return to Fredericton, Dawn asked her son what we here could do to help. He replied that although the days were warm, it became quite cool overnight; the orphans would huddle together in groups on the ground at night to stay warm. He said he slept with his jacket over him and was still cold. So Dawn launched the "Blankets for Haiti " project. She asked staff she knew at the Hospital, Robyn mentioned it to staff at FHS, and our Guild was approached to donate fleece or to actually make fleece blankets. These will be shipped, with other supplies and materials that are being collected at O'Leary Pontiac. Dawn was hoping to receive 100 blankets.
Jerry O'Leary is well known in Fredericton for the work he has done in Jacmel with the present orphange. Now they are planning the construction of a second one. Upon speaking with Chris today, he explained to me that the Haitians are now terrifed to sleep in concrete buildings. They want nothing to do with any concrete structures, so the metal containers that will be shipped will be emptied, and then used to actually form the basic structure of the new orphange.
Dawn, Robyn and Chris are thrilled with the response they received: over 280 blankets! Thank you so much to all our members who were so generous in donating finished blankets, fleece or money for fleece, for this worthwhile project. God bless!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of Dawn's initiative. And I'm so proud that there was such a great response to the call. What a wonderful turnout of quilts. I can just imagine how comforting those blankets will be to those kids who receive them. Bless their little hearts!