By: David Snell, President of The Fuller Center for Housing
The tragedy that is unfolding in Haiti is staggering, and may be among the most horrific in known history. It is a call to people of faith around the world to step forward and lend a hand. Since we at The Fuller Center announced our still forming plans to help with the recovery effort our phones and email have been deluged with offers of support. It is an affirmation to those of us who believe that mankind is basically good.
The Fuller Center is not a disaster relief organization, but we have a very important role to play in the longer term response to this crisis. We build houses—simple, decent homes that provide a safe, secure place for families to live in. We expect to be heavily involved in Haiti, once the situation there stabilizes and the reconstruction work can begin.
In the meantime we are aggressively forming partnerships with like-minded organizations to assure that our response is well coordinated and well supported. One of our principle assignments right now is to develop construction systems that assure that the houses we build have a chance at surviving future earthquakes.We know that many of the schools, offices and homes that collapsed in this quake were built of inadequately reinforced cement block. Our job now is to develop systems that can withstand an earthquake or, if they fall, cause less injury to the families that live in them.
Right now, in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, there is a tremendous outpouring of charitable giving, and that giving is essential to meeting the urgent needs that so many Haitians face. We are awed by the dedication and courage of the first responders who are rushing to Haiti to search for the living and tend to the injured. We offer our prayerful support to the American and international charities that are struggling to provide the simple basics, food and water, in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We encourage our supporters to support these efforts as well.
Our experience teaches, though, that in time the urgency of this crisis will pass. New disasters will arise and the great work relief work that is going on today will be followed by a recovery effort that struggles for funding. Because of that we are unashamedly asking our friends and supporters to consider including The Fuller Center in your Haiti giving plans. We will use some of that money to assess appropriate technologies and to begin setting the stage for the day we can get into the country to start rebuilding. The majority of the money will be spent once the building begins. Every dollar that we receive dedicated to the Haiti Recovery Project will be used for that effort.
It’s the basic nature of charitable work that we seem to always have our hand out, asking for support. But the good work we do wouldn’t be possible without that support. We believe that the Haiti earthquake is a special call to people of good will. We do appreciate your generous support.
Donate to the Haiti Recovery efforts or ask your church to sponsor a home.
To rebuild a home in Haiti is approximately $3,000.