The following video was featured on NBC Washington, featuring our Scientology Volunteer Ministers, as well as the many Haitians we worked with and helped from L’Eglise Baptiste du Calvaire – the largest Haitian congregation in the DC area:
Since 17 January 2010, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have been helping the Haitian population in every way needed. Now, six weeks after the earthquake there are still over 100 Scientology Volunteer Ministers on the ground in Haiti arranging logistics and supplies while helping to build shelters and improving living conditions. Their contribution has been received well by medical professionals and other aid workers, and the video below tells their story:
A dozen DC-area volunteers are en route to Haiti, on the fifth aid flight to Haiti, chartered by the Church of Scientology. Watch the video here.
Channel 7 News reports:
Nearly 50 doctors, nurses and EMT’s flying out from Miami International Airport to the quake devastated region of Port-au-Prince. The trip is being sponsored by the Church of Scientology. About 40 disaster response trained volunteer ministers will also be aboard. "We wanted to bring some medical expertise there and we would support them in what they were doing, because were talking long hours," said Church Of Scientology volunteer Pat Harney.
They’ll be assisting with medical care and providing supplies. "Every person who has come has made a difference. The efforts feel so small in the light of such devastation, but every bit helps," said physician assistant Dianne Bush.
This is the fifth flight the Church of Scientology has chartered to help with the relief efforts in Haiti.
A U.S Special Forces blogger working in Haiti wrote a particularly frank and moving blog post yesterday which illustrates well the selfless hard work being done in Haiti by our volunteers, working in concert with the many dedicated medical, military and volunteer personnel on the ground. He writes:
My team and I are preparing for another launch into Haiti. The work is tiring, hours are long, but probably some of the most rewarding I have ever been involved with. As I previously wrote, the act of kindness and selfless service are abundant in Haiti. Everyday men and women working countless hours to aid the Haitian people and bring a level of humanity to this inhuman situation. Amazing to witness…
I want to shed some light to a group that is often ridiculed and mostly miss-understood. As my team and I worked to secure the University of Miami field hospital (in Port of Prince), we were approached by a group (no less than 20) of young people, all donning bright yellow t-shirts. Their shirts displayed their church affiliation. No, not a Baptist church, not a Catholic church, not even a Christian organization but instead they were all members of the Church of Scientology.
Yes, the same Scientology that seems to be the latest in celebrity fads and so laughed by those of us whom have more “conventional” backgrounds when it comes to religion. After me and the other pipe-hitters joked a bit, it became apparent that these young people were here to assist us and render aid to the suffering. We were asked by the hospital administrator to employ these volunteers in yellow; and like any good Special Forces troop, we found work for our newest grunts. Immediately we had theses young believers of a different power cleaning bed-pans, escorting patients between wards, stacking the endless ocean of relief surplus and simply doing some really tough work. With a smile on their faces and a warmth for the suffering, these young people executed each task in a manner all of us as Americans would be proud.
Day after day they entered the camp (0700 hrs), yellow shirts fading daily from the previous day’s work but they never stopped or even slowed. Never a mal-word, never questioning our request (ok, sometimes our requests sounded like orders being barked) but always doing whatever was required to assist the people of Haiti. My team and I had the opportunity to talk with many of the Scientologist volunteers. Of course there were a few jokes, (SF-types always like to pick-fun at folks different from us) and to be honest they could dish it out as well as they receive it; but what a group of people! Religious beliefs aside (Hell, I really have no clue on what they believe in; only what I have read or heard about through media channels) these guy and girls are OK by me. They lived the selfless service motto; never questioning, always doing for others. Day after demanding day.
We all have differing values, beliefs and ethos we live by. I may not understand the Scientology church (if it is even referred to as a church) but I can attest to the fact that theses volunteers in once bright and now fading yellow shirts are a credit to whatever affiliation they serve. Their higher power has directed these young people to serve, just as my team and thousands continue to do in this terrible environment. It was my pleasure to meet and serve alongside the volunteers for the Scientology Church. Different beliefs / All American!
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Corps is a program of the Church of Scientology providing disaster relief and emergency response. Created more than 30 years ago by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, the program has expanded to 203,000 Volunteer Ministers worldwide who have served at 175 worst-case disaster sites, including Ground Zero after 9/11, the Southeast Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake disaster.
Since the disaster struck in Haiti, Scientology Volunteer Ministers from all over the world, including several from Washington, D.C., have put aside their work to travel to Haiti and volunteer. Over 150 Scientology Volunteer Ministers are active in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and thus far have:
helped over 37,000 people, including hundreds of orphans
arranged and delivered over 38,600 tons of food and medical supplies
served more than 3,150 meals
For more information on the program, and how you can help, contact us here.
After five emotionally-wrenching days volunteering in Haiti, Virginia lawyer Ramcess Jean-Louis stood at Port-au-Prince airport awaiting his flight back to the U.S. That plane carried the final surprise of his trip: Actor John Travolta was piloting the aircraft Jean-Louis was about to board.
Before the plane turned for home, Jean-Louis helped Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, unload cargo.
"He was very hands on," Jean-Louis said of Travolta. "He was unpacking the airplane, really in command of the situation. When he came down with additional supplies and another team of doctors, he made sure the doctors got everything they needed."
Jean-Louis’ decision to jump into the relief effort came shortly after the earthquake hit.
Though he was born in Brooklyn, his parents came from Haiti and he has many relatives still living there.
"You just have to deal with a sense of helplessness, and I didn’t enjoy that feeling during Katrina and I didn’t enjoy it during 9/11," he said.
So Jean-Louis immediately began volunteering at the Haitian Embassy. Professionally, he’s the general counsel for a building maintenance company in Alexandria called TK Services. Every night after work, he’d head to the embassy.
A week ago, he received an urgent call.
"They said, ‘You have to get on a plane if you want to get down there,’" he said. "It took me by surprise. Actually having the opportunity standing in front of me made me a little apprehensive."
But Jean-Louis raced to Philadelphia, caught a flight to Miami and then joined other volunteers on a flight to Haiti. He spent five days there, starting his work at the hospital, assisting patients and distributing medical supplies and food.
Jean-Louis also was able to locate his relatives. One cousin died, but the rest survived.
Jean-Louis hopes to return to Haiti soon, possibly by next month.
"I’m of the thought that Haitians have to lead the recovery and we have to be in control of our story and how this redevelopment is going to take place," he said. "I’m confident that’s going to happen with the help of the international community."
The Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee and Embassy of Haiti, with whom volunteers from the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response team have been working hand-in-hand, sent out the following press release commending the contributions of our volunteers and the many generous donations and helping hands lent by companies and organizations in the area:
With a generous donation from Eyre Bus, Tour & Travel, a group of 160 medical professionals and volunteers from the D.C. and New York areas is headed to Haiti this evening, the Embassy of Haiti and Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee (GWHRC) announced today. The transport of the group is dubbed Operation Night Train, and is scheduled to depart the Embassy around 11:30 p.m. tonight.
"On behalf of my father, Ron Eyre, president and owner, our entire family and staff of Eyre, I am extremely pleased and honored to be a part of this relief effort," said Matthew Eyre, vice president and owner. "We hope that this small role we are playing tonight will help further this extraordinary mission. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Haiti and the thousands of volunteers that we have joined to provide relief."
The group, which volunteered to go to Haiti earlier this week to assist with the relief effort, is made up of approximately 80 doctors, 60 nurses, and 20 volunteers. Approximately 10 volunteers will depart from the Embassy of Haiti and connect with the other volunteers in New York for their flight from JFK. All the volunteers were coordinated by the GWHRC and the Church of Scientology. The group will also transport medical supplies that have been donated to the Embassy over the past week.
The Church of Scientology organized the charter flight out of New York to Haiti as a continuing effort to provide volunteer assistance to those affected by the earthquake on January 12, 2010. They have also been offering daily assistance at the Embassy since the day after the earthquake.
"The Volunteer Ministers from the Church of Scientology, as well as other volunteers and medical professionals, are gravely concerned about the conditions in Haiti and willing to do anything needed to assist in this time of terrible tragedy," said Sylvia Stanard, Director of Government Affairs for the Church of Scientology. "Volunteers are already there from two earlier flights out of Los Angeles and New York, but more are desperately needed, particularly medical professionals. We are working with the Embassy of Haiti and GWHRC to meet those needs."
Some of the volunteers will be deployed to a medical area near the airport and others will be at a hospital located near the Presidential Palace. Volunteers will stay for up to a one-month rotation before returning to the United States.
The Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee is continuing to organize events and volunteers to assist the massive relief effort currently underway in Haiti, including coordinating with the Embassy of Haiti to ship already donated supplies to the island. GWHRC, with the assistance of the Embassy of Haiti, is expecting to send more medical professionals to Haitias soon as planes are available.
The Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee is a coalition of local and international organizations developed with the support of the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C. to streamline efforts during disaster relief. GWHRC was first convened in 2008 to respond to the series of Hurricanes that hit Haiti that year.
The above video was just featured on Fox Channel 5 News, along with the following release:
The Church of Scientology has chartered a jet to ferry about 160 doctors, nurses and other volunteers to Haiti on Saturday to help in the earthquake relief efforts.
A small group of volunteers, including a Haitian-American nurse and a Haitian-American construction worker, was meeting Friday night at the Haitian Embassy in Washington for a midnight bus ride to New York City. They were to join the others for that chartered flight out of JFK International Airport.
The Church of Scientology says it has another flight chartered Monday from Tampa. Volunteers at the embassy’s makeshift crisis command center were soliciting donations of medical supplies and medicines to be sent to Haiti.
The volunteers are also trying to line up physicians and other medical professionals to join the missions to Haiti.
If you wish to go to Haiti to assist, or otherwise wish to help in the relief efforts, contact us here. We are currently looking for medical doctors who can go on a flight which will be flying to Haiti on Monday from Tampa, Florida. If you are interested in going, or know if someone who may be able to go to Haiti for a week or longer, contact us.
A charter flight organized by the Church of Scientology carried 133 doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and Scientology Volunteer Ministers to Port-au-Prince where the group arrived Sunday. Assisted by Homeland Security, the plane left JFK International Airport Saturday to provide urgently needed help in Haiti in the wake of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the island on January 12.
The effort brought together medical doctors and nurses from the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (Association des Medecins Haitiens a l’Etranger), paramedics and emergency medical technicians from New York City and New Jersey led by the Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and Scientology Volunteer Ministers from New York, Tampa and elsewhere.
The group arrived in Port-au-Prince Sunday afternoon, after spending the night in Miami due to delayed departure from JFK as a result of the security alert that closed the airport Saturday afternoon.
Upon arrival in Haiti, the group was escorted to an area of the city where non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and relief organizations are headquartered. They met with officials of other relief organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, to coordinate their efforts and to bring their reinforcements to the greatly overtaxed medical teams.
Teams of Scientology Volunteer Ministers from throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe and elsewhere will provide administrative and organizational support to the medical teams, distribute supplies and provide trauma relief and grief counseling to the victims and their families.
“We had to reach out to provide substantial and meaningful help to the victims of this disaster,” said Pat Harney, a spokesperson for the Scientology Volunteer Ministers who is heading up the team in Haiti. “We have an outpouring of support from Scientologists and others around the world and we are underway in getting much- needed aid to the people of Port-au-Prince.”
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Corps is an embracive program of the Church of Scientology to provide community service, disaster relief and emergency response. Created more than 30 years ago by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, the program has expanded to 203,000 Volunteer Ministers worldwide who have served at 145 worst-case disaster sites, including Ground Zero after 9/11, the Southeast Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
Saturday 16 January 2010: Over 130 Volunteer Ministers, medical doctors, EMTs and nurses and thousands of pounds of water, medical supplies and food organized by the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response wait to board their 737 plane to Haiti.
A Volunteer Minister with boxes of medical supplies the group is bringing to Haiti.
Doctors, nurses, EMTs and Churches of Scientology Disaster Response workers at JFK airport on the way to Haiti.