U.S. Haitians Cling to TV
News reports give info on loved ones and inspire giving
Kid Reporter Serri Carew-Johnson talks to Elizabeth Laosun who waits impatiently in Atlanta, Georgia, for news about her family in Haiti. (Photo Courtesy Serri Carew-Johnson)
Elizabeth Laosun and her mother, Gladys Kerlegrand, wait impatiently in Atlanta, Georgia, for any news about their family in Haiti.
Laosun is thankful that her mother—who was supposed to return to Haiti in December—agreed instead to stay with her to help with her children while their father was traveling.
"I don't know if my folks are dead or alive," Kerlegrand said on Saturday. "I don't have a clue." She is glad to see the extensive news coverage of the disaster. "I am always watching, thinking maybe I can see my people. Then I can be able to help them."
For Laosun, TV coverage is too vivid.
"I can't watch," she said. "I just imagine people spending the rest of their lives not exactly knowing what happened."
For others, the devastation seen on TV has inspired them to help.
"I was really moved by all the videos that I saw on CNN," said Sheriff Thomas Brown, Sheriff of DeKalb County, Georgia. "There is something about television and news footage when you actually see history unfold that moves people to action."
Sheriff Brown has been a member of the DeKalb Rotary Club for about 19 years. He partnered with Rotary International to collect funds to provide emergency housing for earthquake victims. He chose the Rotary Club because of the organization's worldwide reputation for helping people who are less fortunate.
"I knew that they were an organization that you can count on when you give them your money," he said.
Sheriff Brown and his team raised $10,800 at the end of their collection period. The money will be given to the Rotary Charitable Fund, Inc. to buy emergency shelters that cost $1,000 each. Each tent will provide housing for 10 people and will also have blankets, pillows and toiletries.
"I know the money will not be used for administrative costs, but that most of it will go directly to the people in need," Sheriff Brown said.
For those who want to give and don't know what, when, or who to give it to, log on to the Charity Navigator website for guidance.
Editor's Note: Television coverage of disasters and other tragic news stories can be disturbing. You should check with your parents or caregiver to see if they feel it is appropriate for you to watch television reports about the crisis in Haiti.
CRISIS IN HAITI
Check out the Kid Reporters' special report Crisis in Haiti for more information on the country and how to help.
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