Thoughts & Prayers – Haiti Earthquake & Storm Victims

TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Thoughts & Prayers – Haiti Earthquake & Storm Victims
DATE: August 18, 2021

This past Saturday, Haiti experienced a major earthquake that affected half of the country. Early reports of the impact cite a death toll of nearly 2,000. Over 28,000 people have been injured with many more still missing. The quake is estimated to have destroyed or damaged 67,000 homes, schools, churches and hospitals, leaving many people without supplies or shelter.

Haiti was previously devastated by a massive earthquake in 2010, which was one of the deadliest natural disasters in the history of the Western Hemisphere. That earthquake, near the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killed an estimated 250,000 people and displaced more than one million people.

Three days after this enormous earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace made landfall with drenching rains, adding misery for the survivors of the first disaster as flash floods and landslides impact them and further complicate relief efforts. These natural disasters follow the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, in July. I ask that you please keep all those who have been impacted by this horrific sequence of disasters in your thoughts and prayers.

Various charities are working tirelessly to serve people, aid workers, and entire communities with the support they need. For those interested in donating to support relief efforts, you may wish to consider Catholic Charities of Miami or Catholic Relief Services (CRS), among other options.

  • Catholic Charities of Miami has a long-standing, direct relationship with Caritas Haiti — the local Haitian Church's own, locally-led relief and development agency. Supporting Charities/Caritas will enable funds to go directly to efforts directly led by the local Haitian church's emergency relief staff. (Donate here)
  • Catholic Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is also an good choice. CRS's largest office is in Le Cayes — one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake - and their years of coordinating projects in the south will make them highly effective as they work with the local and national Haitian authorities to coordinate an effective response. (Donate here)