The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has collected and distributed more than $350,000 for Haitian relief since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the island nation Jan. 12.
Federation is funneling 100 percent of the funds to organizations working to relieve immediate needs on the ground and to programs aimed at the long-term reconstruction of Haiti. Among the programs Federation is supporting have been an Israel Defense Forces field hospital in Port-au-Prince equipped with high-demand orthopedic devices and infant incubators; a hospital-based feeding program through EcoWorks International; and several projects providing clean, potable water in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding community.
Synagogues and schools have continued their relief efforts, raising funds, supplies and awareness about the disaster. Members at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel Air donated more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls to be shipped to Haiti, and have now turned their efforts toward raising $10,000 for Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), a medical project that dispatches field surgeons and transports kids to Israel for lifesaving cardiac surgery.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger planned a Haiti benefit concert for Thursday, Feb. 4 at American Jewish University (AJU). Speakers, guests and performers include Grammy winner Deniece Williams, former members of the Supremes, rapper Kanye West, soul musician James Ingram, inspirational speaker Deepak Chopra and Haiti’s ambassador to the U.N. World Food Program. MAZON’s Haiti Food Project is focused on using the immediate crisis to bring Haiti toward long-term food sustainability. The concert is co-sponsored by AJU, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, The Chopra Foundation, Spicy Charlie’s, QSC Concert Solutions, Innovation Protocol and Steve Addison Events.
Meanwhile, dozens of L.A. children set up lemonade stands, snack sales and art shows to raise funds for Haiti.
Eight-year-old Hannah Merritt of Beverlywood set up lemonade stands in her father’s office and outside her home, where she raised nearly $300 for American Jewish World Service. Her sign read:
“Lemonade, Hot Chocolate for $1. All the money goes to Hadey. Hope you will come!”