16 January 2010

Knitting for Troops 20/365 The Ships Project

Getting back to suggestions on how to help troops:

If you can knit (or want to learn: I can rebuild a trachea, but still can't knit. M. swears it is easy!)

one way to support the troops is by knitting comfort items like hats, slippers and neck coolers. I can tell you that when I was in Iraq in JAN I was freezing my patootie off!! M. had knit me a green camouflage blanket and a desert camouflage hoodie and they were put to good use!

A great place to start is the Ships Project:


They started by knitting warm slippers for sailors who would get cold in their berths, but send items to land and sea troops. They will coordinate group mailings and have a very clear guide to help choose which items to knit.

15 January 2010

RJ Julia Book Store, Madison, CT Hatian relief

(Source: Bookpublishing Today)

One of my favorite book stores in the world, RJ Julia in Madison, CT

made this announcement that they would be donating Booklovers Club membership dues to Hatian relief:

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Haiti Disaster Relief at R.J. Julia
This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when you sign up for our popular Booklovers Club membership, or renew your expired membership, 100% of your $25 membership fee will go to
Doctors Without Borders for Haiti Relief!

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Here is information about joining the Booklovers club (you can do it over the Internet):

We are planning a signing at RJ Julia WED 31 MAR at 1900. I can't wait!

13 January 2010

News From Haiti

(Source: HASHaiti.org; January 13, 2010 - Deschapelles, Haiti -Earthquake victims arrive for medical treatment at HAS 40 miles NW of Port-au-Prince. Support is urgently needed to help with relief efforts at HAS.)

In 1996, I worked at Hopital Albert Schweizer in Haiti. As you may know, Haiti suffered a major earthquake yesterday damaging most of the buildings in the capital Port au Prince, killing and injuring many people. Here is a report from the hospital:

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Afternoon Report Wednesday, 13 Jan 2009

As we have all heard many reports of the terrible disaster---a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, the worst in 200 years. Up to 3 million people may have been affected. So far, tens of thousands of people have died.

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, located 40 miles NW of Port-Au-Prince was able to withstand the recent devastating earthquake and is currently operating with full staff helping victims. With mass casualty protocols in place, the medical staff is evaluating each patient, performing diagnostic tests and delivering life saving care. Due to the expertise developed over its 54 year history, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS) is one of the few institutions positioned to provide timely hospital care for the injured. As the flow of people urgently seeking care increases over the next few days and weeks, our resources will be pushed to the breaking point. It is critical that we receive support to help us continue with our mission.

Ever since early this morning, a steady stream of vehicles, mainly the open-back pickups which serve as public taxis on Haiti's roads, has come to the front of the hospital. In the back are one or two people, their legs or arms covered in bandages or clothes. HAS security staff rush out to the truck with a backboard or gurney, and bring the patient inside to be triaged by the emergency team.Now, in early afternoon, a crowd of over 200 people are outside the hospital, friends or neighbors of injured patients. They rush to the arriving trucks and try to help to carry the new patients inside. Occasionally, the combination of the person's injuries and the truck ride are more than can be sustained by the patient, and the family members, with great wailing, adapt to the shock of the loss of a loved one. A sound system has been set up outside, so that family members may be called into the hospital to meet with doctors.Each patient is brought into the Observation Unit and quickly evaluated. Some are sent to for an X-Ray or lab test while others are taken immediately to the holding area outside surgery, where both operating rooms are being used full time.All beds have been pressed into use, and still there are patients on benches. Gradually, some of the early arrivals and less injured are prepared for discharge.

Systems at HAS are working well; preparation and practice have paid off. The greatest resource, however, is the dignity and grace of people who have suffered a great shock and sometimes tragedy, and remain calm and show concern not just for the people with whom they have come here, but for others as well.

This is the most serious challenge ever faced by HAS in its 54-year history, and while we are currently coping with the onslaught of the injured, we urgently need support.

At this moment, we don't have the capability to accept material goods or personnel. Our greatest and most urgent need is for funds to pay overtime wages to our dedicated staff, and to buy replacement medicines and supplies.

We will update the website with news of relief efforts. To make a donation that will have immediate impact, please go to

Thank you again for the many expressions of help and caring that are coming from around the globe.

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