January 19, 2010
by Kay Hixson, Director of Marketing and Communications, Grameen Foundation
Sunday and Monday offered an opportunity to help Haiti in person. Hundreds, maybe thousands, answered the call.
This past Sunday, I visited the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC to deliver baby and medical supplies. People were everywhere, bringing clothes, medicine and all kinds of things. Others were writing checks to support the relief effort, or just standing in the rain wanting to be near. Yes, it was a little chaotic, but no one seemed to mind. No one was pushing or shoving. No one was grumpy or impatient. When the Embassy personnel gave a directive, the crowd followed quickly. Friendly police were everywhere trying to direct traffic, which was backed up for blocks in all directions. Instead of writing parking tickets, the police helped people carry in the supplies and did their best to answer questions. While I was there, I heard that the Embassy-sponsored drive had just received the OK to bring the planes with emergency supplies into Haiti. I left with a lighter heart and was glad to see compassion and generosity in action.
Monday morning I went to the old DC General Hospital facility to sort and pack supplies. There must have been a million items to sort. My group consisted of a 20ish young lady in a wheelchair and an elderly woman sitting on the floor because she couldn't stand very well. They quickly took charge. I would bring them the boxes of items to be sorted, I was told, and then carry the items to the staging area when they were through. This is the first time I've been officially designated a pack mule. Then I smiled. This was a perfect celebration of Dr. King's birthday.