There’s still a lot of rebuilding left to do nearly four years after a massive earthquake hit Haiti, and a group of area nurses is heading south to lend a helping hand.
“It was just this immense roaring,” public health nurse Jennifer Weitzel said. “That was what was more startling to me than even the shaking.”
During the 2010 earthquake, she was on a mission trip with Health Ministries for Haiti, which she joined in 2005.
News 3 interviewed her when she returned to Wisconsin after the 2010 earthquake. Since then, her commitment to that community has only strengthened, along with the number of volunteers.
“You know that what you’re giving her is going directly to the people,” long-time St. Mary’s Hospital nurse Peggy Weber said. She’ll join 10 other people, about half of whom are nurses, to provide, in part, medicine to people in and around Port au Prince.
“We’ll be seeing 100 people a day in these clinics set up outside of the city,” said Weber, who will even teach a new nursing class to Haitian students.
The group is also financially supporting a new clinic that could open next year.
Several parishioners from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cottage Grove are donating shorts and sundresses to the children at the local orphanage.
“(She) helped some older ladies get their old Singers out, their old sewing machines out, and they actually made the dresses, too,” Weber said.
The number of children at the orphanage doubled from 50 to 100 since the earthquake, and cholera continues to pop up in the population. But so do Weitzel and her volunteers, who are spreading good in a place filled with a lot of bad.
“You’re going to see so much need, and you’re going to feel sad and guilty for what you have, and you’re going to feel like you’re not doing anything,” Weber said. “But anything you can do will be important, and as long as you do it with love, it will be perfect.”
Weber leaves with a group this weekend. They paid their own way and will be gone for about 10 days.
To join a trip or donate, go online.