Area non-profit seeks funds to rebuild.
More than 40 infants and children living in a Haitian orphanage sponsored by a local non-profit group were unharmed during yesterday's earthquake, according to Brendie Bandara, a spokesperson for Three Angels Children's Relief. She says the building is intact, unlike many other structures in the Haitian capital of Porte-au-Prince, but is now unsafe for use.
"We were on pins and needles and didn't sleep much last night because we weren't sure if the building was still standing. A lot of prayers went out their way," said Bandara. "We got word late last night that the orphanage is miraculously still standing. Most of [the surrounding buildings] have been leveled."
The children are being kept outside as aftershocks continue to wrack the island nation, and Bandara says the need for supplies to rebuild is great. The caretaker of the orphanage, who was not in Haiti at the time, is preparing to return to the site with a structural engineer to assess the damage. Three Angels has published this list of estimated recovery costs, and is asking for support from community members:
Transportation costs for exploratory team / first wave - $1,700
Initial Medical Supplies - dressings, casting supplies, medications, etc. - $1,800
New Vehicle - $25,000
Satellite Phone (rental 4 weeks) - $500
Security costs (personnel, rebuild exterior walls, razor wire) - $2,000
With death tolls being counted in the hundreds of thousands, international concerns have rapidly focused toward the impoverished Caribbean nation, which suffered a seismic event registering 7.0 on the Richter scale yesterday afternoon. The initial tembler has been followed by up to 35 aftershocks, ranging between 4.2 and 5.9 on the Richter scale.
"The main thing is for Santa Clarita residents to know that they can do something in this situation," Bandara said. "People have been calling and e-mailing me saying 'I wish I could do more.' This is their opportunity to do more."
Three Angels Children's Relief was founded by a group of Santa Clarita Valley residents who, having traveled to Haiti, dedicated themselves to providing education, shelter, and medicine for local orphans. The foundation keeps no overhead costs; 100 percent of funds donated go directly toward the foundation's charitable works in Haiti. Click here  to learn more about the foundation and join the rebuilding process.