It was a cold day in Toronto with snow squalls that were from out of this world. February is just around the corner and we cannot believe how far we have come. TW4H is now 23-volunteer strong, taking shape more and more day by day. Clients are signing up, comments on our blog are being posted, and emails enquiring about us are trickling in. While being grateful for our day jobs, we constantly think about what we can do to improve this organization. It is simply wonderful that we are here now, at Day 11.
So our networking night is happening next Tuesday! Please clear your schedule that evening. As mentioned earlier, details on the venue and time will be emailed out, but we want you to be there. We know that some of you are coming for sure, and this meet and greet is going to be an important step for our group. We’re looking forward to the energy you will bring.
And lastly, Tomoe joins us as a new volunteer today! She will be providing Japanese translation and interpretation service. With her experience in teaching Japanese language courses to university students and writing articles in both English and Japanese for major newspapers and academic journals, she will be the problem-solver for all your Japanese language needs.
So TGIF everyone!
Just because it’s Saturday doesn’t mean we stop our efforts to raise funds for the work in Haiti! We’ve had some significant progress in raising awareness and raising funds for the Haitian relief efforts (see yesterday’s blog about our mention in the Globe and Mail and by UBC Alumni Affairs), but like the aid agencies who are still removing debris and rubble in hope of finding survivors, we need to keep moving.
Today, there was a report that 24-year old Wismond Exantus was found by rescue workers under the remains of the Napoli Inn Hotel. Mr. Exantus, now in stable condition, was found 11 days after the Haitian earthquake and hours after the Haitian government declared that they would be ending the search effort for survivors.
While there has been debate about whether the search should continue, there is certainly no doubt that there is more work to be done. An estimated 1.5 million people are homeless and the city of Port-au-Prince has suffered a huge loss in infrastructure. While some camps have been set up to house the homeless, we should not forget those who lived outside the city itself, and for whom aid has been slow in coming, if at all. BBC News reports that in the town of Jacmel, an estimated one-third of the town is in ruins, and many survivors are not able to get the medical aid that they need.
Even if the search has ended, we need to continue raising funds to support the medical and health teams that are dealing with the aftermath, and to help re-build the local infrastructure. This weekend, send an email, Tweet or Facebook message to your friends, let them know about Toronto Works For Haiti, and ask them whether they can volunteer their services or if they can use the services of a volunteer and help donate to the cause.