Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update from Chances for Children Founders

Earthquake Relief Efforts UPDATE 1/20

As you may have heard there was another 6.0 aftershock in Haiti today. Again, all of our children and staff are safe and secure. They have received enough food, water and supplies to sustain them for another 10 days. So much has happened since the last update and I will try to provide as much information as possible in this quick update:

The orphanage has received visas for 15 children who are now ready to come into the United States to be with their adoptive families. We are currently in a frenzy trying to coordinate these efforts so that all of our children can travel together with the orphanage director and some adults.

Most orphanages are having to send their children in mass on military planes and then alert their adoptive families at the last minute urging them to fly into Florida on 4 hours notice. This is not how we wish to start the transition for either our children or their parents. So we have planes (or a plane – still a work in progress) ready to fly to PAP on Thursday to bring these children home. Please keep these children and their families in your thoughts and prayers!

Here is an update on our Relief Efforts

We have increased our cargo load to 8,000 pounds. A team is heading to Miami on Monday to purchase supplies and begin loading. One of our adoptive parents collected over 1,000 pounds of formula and food and will be sending that to our warehouse as well. Nourish the Children is also donating 1,500 pounds of protein packaged meals which will be very valuable to children in the village. Over $3,000 in prescription medicines will be on our planes. If you have any interest in helping us pack boxes in Miami please contact our Team Coordinator, April at
Future of Adoptions

Many of you have contacted us about pursuing adoptions or foster care for children in Haiti. At this point we have to ask that you patiently wait until we can handle our immediate needs – getting our 15 children already in the adoption process home, and getting supplies to the people in Haiti. Once we have accomplished these two goals, we will begin to prepare a plan along with JCICS to help determine how to best serve the needs of the children abandoned from this disaster.

Update on Statistics in Haiti from U.S. Aid Organizations:

Haitians are leaving Port-au-Prince and setting up refugee camps outside the city.

Fifty thousand bodies have already been accounted for and the Haitian government expects an additional 100,000 to 200,000. An absolute number will never be known.

Lack of fuel is a major concern.

Civil unrest is escalating.

Fifteen hundred search and rescue personnel with 115 cadaver dogs continue search and rescue efforts.

One million people have been rendered homeless in the Port-au-Prince region.

We ask that you continue to support our neighbors in Haiti and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you know someone who hasn’t yet donated to assist in the relief efforts, encourage them to do so either through our efforts or by donating to one of the other charities providing assistance within the country. As a reminder here is a link to our earthquake relief campaign and our website.

Once again, thank you for your support.

Kathi and Craig Juntunen