Still Helping in Haiti
Connecticut students continue working for earthquake victims
Pictures of Haiti after last year's earthquake had a profound affect on 8th grader Riley Scheuritzel of Connecticut. He decided immediately he wanted to help.
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit near Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Though it only lasted about 35 seconds, it is still affecting life there one year later. Much of Port-au-Prince remains in ruins, while more than 1 million people are still homeless.
Riley began his efforts to help as soon as he saw news stories of the devastation. He recruited other students and two of his teachers to form Hope 4 Haiti, or H4H. The group is still on the job.
"I've always wanted to help people, but I never had the opportunities until this tragedy struck," Riley said.
The organization holds bake sales and sells blue plastic bracelets with H4H stamped on them to raise money for those in need in Haiti. The cause attracted kids who wanted to reach out and help.
"I joined the club because it seemed like an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life," said 7th grade member Nick C.
Riley says creating H4H has done as much good for him as it has for the people it is helping.
"I feel like a better person every time I go into one of the H4H meetings because I know I am making a difference in someone's life," he told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.
Riley isn't the only member who says H4H is making a difference in both Haiti and the U.S.
"H4H is inspiring us, too," said 7th grader H4H member Julia A.
The main goal of H4H is to get the word out that Haiti is still in trouble. Riley hopes to some day travel to Haiti and visit the people there.
The young philanthropist has a message for kids who want to help make a difference anywhere in the world.
"If you want to do something to help someone or something, always take the first step so you can actually do what you want to," he said.
CRISIS IN HAITI: ONE YEAR LATER
More than a million people remain homeless and schools are just now being rebuilt in Haiti a year after the country's capital city was devastated by a major earthquake on January 12, 2010. Scholastic Kid Reporters continue their reporting on the earthquake with stories about how people are continuing to help the embattled country in the Crisis in Haiti: One Year Later Special Report.
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