The depths of the suffering borne by the people of Haiti in recent decades -- whether hunger, disease, natural disaster, or economic crisis – seems fathomless. But the gauntlet of hardship faced by this island nation has not extinguished the spirit of its people. Even after Saturday’s earthquake, Monday’s tropical storm, the ravages of COVID-19, and the recent assassination of President Moïse, Haitians continue to strive to help one another. They are determined, as we should be too.
The media is reporting dire post-earthquake conditions. Bridges, homes, roads, and businesses have been destroyed. Hospitals are overwhelmed and short on supplies. The death toll and number of injured are expected to grow. UNICEF reported on Tuesday that 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, have been impacted. As we write, people are struggling to survive, and this fresh burden on the hearts and minds of those with loved ones impacted -- and memories of the devastating 2010 earthquake -- feels unspeakable.
We write to express our deepest sympathy both to those in Haiti caught in the disaster and to the strong Haitian community here facing so much grief and worry. Our voices today are also a call to our community to take action. Aid is being organized at every level from the local to international. Many reputable larger nonprofits delivering aid can be found on www.charitynavigator.org. Local organizations and houses of worship are also coordinating help. If you are able to donate, even a small amount, please support the aid and recovery efforts.
The Somerville Trauma Response Network (TRN) is also available to you or anyone you know in need of mental health support in response to this event. Please contact TRN Coordinator Sara Skonieczny at 857-221-0942. The Somerville Public Schools crisis team is likewise available to students and families.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, City Council President Matt McLaughlin, School Committee Chair Andre Green, Superintendent Mary Skipper