FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2010
For more information please contact:
Beca Howard, Communications Manager
IN IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF TRAGIC EARTHQUAKE, HANDS ON DISASTER RESPONSE SENDS IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING
CARLISLE, MA, USA 1/13/2010 – On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a series of strong aftershocks devastated Haiti. Initial reports indicate overwhelming damage in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, affecting an estimated 3 million people with as many as 100,000 lives lost. Hands On Disaster Response (HODR), a US-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, has launched an emergency appeal and assessment in response to the recent earthquake, and has created the Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund to accept monetary donations to support these efforts. The seasoned volunteer coordination organization welcomes interest from volunteers, but cautions that search and rescue missions are still underway.
“We had an incredibly successful six-month project in Haiti last year, and are anxious to be of assistance again,” says David Campbell, Founder and Executive Director of HODR who plans to return to Haiti as part of the organization’s assessment team. “That being said, we are not a search and rescue or medical response organization. In the immediate aftermath of such a tragic event, we need to let search and rescue efforts do their work before any potential volunteer initiatives can be explored, and I encourage those interested in volunteering to be patient as emergency services take their course.”
The HODR assessment team is reaching out to local networks and agencies in Haiti and plans to arrive in Haiti next week. The organization will be meeting with local officials, visiting affected areas and evaluating the recovery needs in order to determine further involvement and the potential for volunteer projects.
Often, following large-scale natural disasters there is an overwhelming need for able and willing hands to help families pick up the pieces and move forward. HODR harnesses the power of volunteers to bring direct assistance to survivors of natural disasters in the US and around the world. The organization has responded to 13 natural disasters in seven countries, including a deployment in Haiti from October 2008 to March 2009 in response to Hurricane Ike and a series of other hurricanes. Those interested in volunteering, should HODR launch a project in the coming weeks, are encouraged to stay tuned to the organization’s website at www.HODR.org for the latest updates from the assessment team.
HODR programs are tailored to the unique needs of each community and range from debris removal to rebuilding homes and schools. In the organization’s hurricane response project in Haiti, volunteers assisted more than 5,000 families through programs such as “mud removal” (digging homes out from severe mudslides) and well masonry. HODR is actively engaged in a volunteer project in Indonesia in response to the September 2009 earthquakes, focusing on home deconstruction and transitional shelters.
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund in support of HODR’s efforts please visit www.HODR.org/HaitiEarthquake today.
About Hands On Disaster Response:
Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) is a MA-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world, with maximum impact and minimum bureaucracy. By supporting volunteers with housing, meals, tools, and organized work at no charge HODR is able to provide free and effective response services to communities in need. The organization welcomes both returning volunteers as well as spontaneous volunteers, people not previously affiliated with any disaster organization, but who are willing to help with whatever needs to be done – from clearing rubble to building homes and schools, from sanitation projects to children’s programs. Previous projects include: Indonesia (2009 Earthquakes – On-going project), New York (2009 Flooding), Arkansas (2009 Tornado), Haiti (2008-2009 Hurricanes), Iowa (2008 Flooding), Missouri (2008 Tornado), Arkansas (2008 Tornado), Bangladesh (2007-2008 Cyclone), Peru (2007-2008 Earthquake), Philippines (2006 Typhoon), Indonesia (2006 Earthquake), Mississippi (2005-2006 Hurricane Katrina), and Thailand (2004 Tsunami). For more information or to donate visit www.HODR.org.