Twenty-four containers sent to Haiti in November by Cleveland's Church of God World Missions arrived in the nick of time to help after Tuesday's earthquake, and more help is on the way.
"We will continue to send to them," said Dr. Douglas LeRoy, general director of the denomination's World Missions office in Cleveland, "and as soon as we can get proper communication, we will send in people to help."
As details on the depth of the tragedy in Haiti stream out, help pours in, including donations from many area churches, denominations and ministries.
Alan Rogers, senior pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Soddy-Daisy, said his congregation's mission coordinators are collecting medical supplies for a Madison, Tenn., group affiliated with missionaries in Haiti. A trailer will be set up on the church's property to receive donations, he said.
In the meantime, he said he hoped members would consider giving through the Southern Baptist Church's relief arm.
Dr. Eddy Rushing, director of missions for the Northwest Georgia and Lookout Valley Baptist associations, and the Rev. Jerry Little, director of missions for the Catoosa County Baptist Association, urged northwest Georgia congregations to give through the Georgia Baptist Convention.
"I'm sure there will be a big (monetary) response," Dr. Rushing said. "There was with (Hurricane) Katrina and other natural disasters that have happened."
Dr. LeRoy said the Church of God, which has been in Haiti since 1933 and counts 250,000 members in the country, also has construction and medical teams willing to provide assistance.
"They can't do it at this particular point (because of the lack of communication)," he said. "Everything now is internal."
Ann Weeks, a deacon at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, said several meetings over the next several days will define "where our interests are and where we can help best."
She said if parishioners are not 100 percent sure on where to donate, they can safely donate to Episcopal Relief Development.
Chattanooga architect Ann Aiken, who designed an Episcopal school at Petit Harpon in the Haitian mountains west of Port-au-Prince, said she was "pretty sure the area suffered damage" but was unsure of the disposition of the school, named St. John the Evangelist Episcopal School.
It was built by donations from members of Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, Church of the Nativity in Fort Oglethorpe and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Oak Ridge, Tenn., she said.
"It was designed to meet U.S. building codes but not necessarily earthquake codes," Ms. Aiken said.
If it fared well, she said, it could be a community center for relief efforts or a place for displaced residents to sleep.
Bishop Richard F. Stika of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, which includes Chattanooga, has asked all 47 parishes in the diocese to receive a collection Saturday and Sunday for Haiti and the humanitarian relief efforts of Catholic Relief Services in the country.
He also asked that diocesan priests use prayers tailored to the earthquake victims in their Sunday Masses.
WHERE TO DONATE
* Church of God World Missions: www.cogwm.org
* Episcopal Relief Development: www.er-d.org
* Georgia Baptist Convention: www.gabaptist.org
* Southern Baptist Convention: www.sbc.net
* United Methodist Committee on Relief: www.new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor
LOOKING FOR LOVED ONES
* Call 1-888-407-4747, a number that has been set by the U.S. State Department Operations Center for Americans seeking information about family members.
Several local organizations are accepting donations or asking for volunteers to help with the relief effort:
* Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti, call 495-1122 or visit http://cnphaiti.org
* Score International, call 423-894-7111 or visit https://scoreinternational.org/give. Specify Help Haitians Rapid Response.
* American Haitian Foundation, checks can be mailed to 3602 Anderson Pike, Signal Mountain, TN 37377 or visit www.americanhaitianfoundation.org.
* The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and postal mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728.
* The CRUDEM (Center for Rural Development of Milot) Foundation is accepting to support the Hopital Sacre Couer, a hospital in the north of Haiti. The foundation, based in Ludlow, Maine, was set up in 1968.
For more information or to donate, go to www.crudem.org
Volunteers may travel to Haiti with Score for $1,200, which includes airfare, meals, lodging, supplies, and ground transportation overseas.
Dates include: Jan. 30-Feb. 4 and every Saturday through Thursday for the following six weeks.
For more information, contact Trey Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-894-7111.
MEDICAL SUPPLIES NEEDED
New Salem Baptist Church, located at 9806 Dallas Hollow Road in Soddy-Daisy, is collecting medical supplies for Haiti relief. Their top needs:
* Bandages of all types
* Antibiotics (oral and creams such as Neosporin)
* Sulfadene or Silvadene cream for burns
* Anything a surgeon would need to complete open reduction of broken bones
* Surgical instruments of any type, especially kits for orthopedic surgery
* IV fluids and supplies such as needles, tubing, etc.
* Nonabsorbent sutures (3/0 and 4/0) and absorbent sutures (3/0 and 4/0)
* Gloves, sterile and nonsterile
* Casting materials
* Pain medications
* Portable X-ray machine, digital, if possible
* Surgical tables, gurneys, etc.
* Surgical lights, headlights, etc.
* Linens, blankets
* Disposable sheets, pads, etc.
LOCALS IN HAITI
Three missionaries from Cleveland, Tenn., arrived in Port-au-Prince Tuesday, an hour before the earthquake ripped through the Haitian capital.
Friends here know they're OK, but that's about it.
"Their car was damaged," said Dr. Douglas LeRoy, general director of the Church of God World Missions in Cleveland. "They were OK. But we don't know where they are."
The Rev. John Talbird, a former longtime rector at Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, is in the country and is safe.
Dr. Fred Dearing, superintendent of the United Methodist Church's Chattanooga District, said several executives with the denomination's United Methodist Committee on Relief are in the country but have not been located.