• Stories from Bears in Haiti, and Baylor’s relief efforts

    Since a massive earthquake struck Haiti earlier this week, killing thousands and leaving millions without access to food and shelter, we’ve heard from a few members of the Baylor family who were in Haiti when the quake struck. Even after seeing news footage all week, their words are eye-opening.

    “I can’t believe the damage. Unbelievable. Houses gone. Schools gone,” said a 2007 alum who was in the country as a United Nations intern. “I talked with kids and tried to calm people down. I don’t even know what I was doing. I just ran around talking to the kids and telling them to stay away from the power lines that are all over the streets.”

    Another 2007 graduate had just started teaching at a Christian school in Haiti last month; the school miraculously survived the quake intact, but many of the students and employees lost their homes. She and her husband are helping the kids at their school as well as others from a nearby orphanage that nearly collapsed until more help can arrive.

    Since the earthquake, over and over again I’ve heard one question: “How can I help?”

    Interim President Dr. David Garland e-mailed Baylor faculty, staff and students on Thursday, urging people first and foremost to pray. A website has been launched (www.baylor.edu/haiti) to further detail Baylor’s efforts as they develop. It includes links to organizations which are collecting donations for relief efforts, as well as contacts for faculty, staff and students in need of pastoral care and student organizations wishing to support relief efforts. The University will do its best to coordinate charitable drives and other service opportunities in order to avoid duplicating efforts and so best serve those who need the help, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    No sic ’em here — just our urges to continue demonstrating the “worldwide service” so often mentioned in Baylor’s mission, and to keep praying for all those affected by this tragedy.

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