Dear Friends of USBBY and IBBY:
This week's earthquake in Haiti has left us all shaken and shocked; our friends are there. Yet another tragic disaster has hit the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Thousands have been killed and the destruction has been devastating. Those that were spared are in critical need. We have already seen the nations of the world pledging help with basic medical and food aid. But Haiti needs more than that.
For the past year our colleagues at IBBY Haiti have been running a Children in Crisis project to train teachers, librarians and care-givers how to use the healing power of storytelling and books after natural environmental disasters, such as the series of enormous storms that hit Haiti in recent years and the collapse of a school that killed many children in 2008. The earthquake on January 12th has wreaked so much more havoc and brought death to thousands, and a very uncertain future to millions more.
As you may be aware, the USBBY has a very special twinning partnership with IBBY Haiti through its President Jocelyne Trouillot. Some of you may have met her when she recently spoke at the 8th IBBY Regional Conference in St. Charles about the projects in Haiti schools and libraries funded by the Children in Crisis Fund and USBBY support.
After trying to reach Ms. Trouillot for several days, we are happy to report that we received a message from her early this morning. She reports that: "The University Caraibe and most universities in Port au Prince are completely destroyed. Most schools too. Thousands of school children and university students are under those buildings.Thousands of houses have collapsed. Rich and poor and middle class have lost families and houses. I cannot describe the horrors. I have seen so many corpses today, many of my own students dead or injured. I don't want to describe it. My house is partially destroyed but we hope to make it. I hope to coordinate some help next week. For now, we have to bury the dead. The children of Haiti will need psychological help and bibliotherapy will certainly bring some healing. Schools will not reopen until September or October. The buildings and the teachers are not there. We will have to find other places. Many churches have been destroyed too. We stay positive but for most of us, we will need some strong will. Thank you for your support." Jocelyne
During the tsunami disaster in Asia, USBBY members contributed many thousands of dollars in just a few short weeks to the relief efforts coordinated by IBBY. We are appealing to you today for similar support for the Haiti earthquake disaster. It is believed that the best way to do this is through donations to the Children in Crisis Fund. Therefore, USBBY will accept donations in trust for IBBY Haiti to help the surviving children and their families through the healing power of books and storytelling, bibliotherapy, and the reconstruction of libraries.
Won't you help today? Donations to the Children in Crisis Fund for Haiti Relief are desperately needed! The process is simple!
Your choices are:
Go to the USBBY web site at www.usbby.org; click on Opportunities to Help
Use your credit card or
Download and print the PDF membership application, then mail it and your check to:
USBBY Donations c/o V. Ellis Vance
5503 N. El Adobe Drive
Fresno, CA 93711-2363
(If you are already an USBBY member and it is not yet time for you to renew your membership, just fill out the Donation Section of the membership form and check Children in Crisis Fund. All donations coming into the Children in Crisis Fund will be used for Haiti relief during the coming months.)
Several years ago I established a fund through USBBY to honor my parents. I think this is a great opportunity to do something similar. Send $$$ badly needed to honor those people in your life who brought the love of books and reading to you.
Thanks. We will return to our usual programming tomorrow.