Giving A Theme at “Concert for Haiti”

Published : Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 9:42 PM CST

APPLETON – As people in Haiti continue their struggle to survive after the devastating quake, people in Northeast Wisconsin are coming together for a special relief concert. On Wednesday, Lawrence University hosted the “Concert for Haiti” at the school’s Memorial Chapel.

In the midst of desperation music can offer hope. The “Concert for Haiti” did even more, lifting spirits while raising funds for a disaster even the Red Cross struggles to describe.

“There are immediate needs, food, shelter, water, medical supplies, search and rescue, things that people need right away to survive,” Barbara Behling with the Red Cross said. “In the coming weeks those needs will expand.”

Behling says money donated at the concert will help fund Red Cross relief efforts, as well as benefit a now-destroyed music school Lawrence University has worked closely with for years.

Behling says the response of donors and volunteers has been enormous. She says the deployment to Haiti has been the largest one-country response in Red Cross History.

“To put that into context, it is larger than the 2004 tsunami in which we were serving 14 countries,” Behling said. “So, this one small country is receiving a lot of resources, man power, supplies.”

All desperately needed. Lawrence students organized the benefit concert, which featured past and present student musicians, a world-renowned cellist, the Milwaukee Lutheran High School choir and guitarist Jeremiah Nelson among others.

“It’s like a call to arms, it’s cool to see everyone jump and pitch in,” Nelson said.

He wanted his performance to strike a hopeful tone and a call to give. As concert goers streamed in for the 7p.m. performance, it seemed generosity was on the program.

In addition to donations for the Red Cross, Lawrence is collecting music and instruments for the music school they hope to one day help rebuild.

“I think it’s very important and I’m kind of proud at how the attendance at this is and how everybody is donating money,” Samantha Brockman of Kaukauna said.

She says one person can make a difference, bringing hope and healing along with a song.

You can watch a 30 minute special on the “Concert for Haiti” on FOX 11 Thursday night. It begins at 9:30.

Tune in 7pm – Live Streaming Video “Concert for Haiti”

Fox 11 will be offering live streaming video of the “Concert for Haiti”.

Click here to view:

Gearing up for Concert for Haiti

Published : Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 6:14 AM CST

APPLETON – FOX 11 is proud to team up with the American Red Cross and Lawrence University in Appleton for “Concert for Haiti,” an event to help raise money for the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake.

Some of the donations from this event will benefit the Holy Trinity School in Port-Au-Prince, where Lawrence University’s music department has been teaching Haitian students music.

Angela Kelly spoke with some of the music faculty, students and the Red Cross on Wednesday about their experiences and relief operations in Haiti and how everyone is getting ready for the special event.

Donations from Wednesday evening’s “Concert for Haiti” will also benefit the Red Cross.

Click to view video of interviews all morning long on Good Day WI.

Can’t make the concert event? Then tune into Fox 11 for a re-broadcast of this wonderful event. 

  • January, 21 – 9:30pm
  • January, 22 – 5:30pm
  • January, 30 – 5:30pm


Message from President and CEO Gail McGovern

January, 19, 2010

I just got a daily Haiti situation report that I wanted you to see (below).

The situation remains desperate. But aid is reaching the hands of earthquake survivors. Determined relief workers are finding ways around damaged infrastructure and transportation bottlenecks to get aid to the people who need it.

Just yesterday, American Red Cross workers delivered essential supplies like blankets, tarps, hygiene items and jerry cans for water – for thousands of people gathering in camps, and will continue to do so for weeks to come.

All this is possible because of Red Cross supporters like you. Thank you.

Yesterday, I met with other Red Cross and government leaders in the Dominican Republic to help coordinate a global response to the unprecedented need in Haiti. I arrive on the ground in Haiti today and will be visiting American Red Cross relief distribution points – more on that soon.

To stay updated on all relief efforts, be sure to check our Disaster Online Newsroom

Thank you,


P.S. Monetary donations remain the best way to support relief efforts. To contribute, please click here.

Haiti Earthquake – Disaster Response Report
January 19, 2010 – A.M. UPDATE


  • The Haitian Ministry of Interior now estimates that one million people have been severely affected by the earthquake and that 250,000 are in urgent need of assistance.

  • The Red Cross, UN and other relief agencies on the ground are coordinating response plans through daily meetings in the sectors of food; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter and non-food items; and emergency telecommunications.

  • Although no official death toll is available, the Haitian government now estimates that at least 50,000 people have died. Disposal of the dead remains a critical concern. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has announced plans to assist in collecting bodies and digging communal burial sites. The government of Haiti police and civil protection authorities continue efforts to identify bodies.


  • The Red Cross is providing a wide range of help and support in the form of food, water, relief supplies, field hospitals, emotional support, sanitation facilities and family linking services for the Haiti earthquake survivors.

  • More than 400 Red Cross workers from around the world as well as several thousands of local volunteers are addressing urgent needs and mobilizing a massive response operation in Haiti.

  • Relief materials are being delivered, and more help is on the way. The Red Cross spent the weekend delivering more than 300,000 litres of clean drinking water to survivors gathering in three different communities. Latrines have also been built in the same areas to help address sanitation issues.

  • As of Sunday, the Red Cross set up two medical centers to triage and treat, approximately 200 people per day. Three additional medical centers are being set up as of this report’s release.

  • First aid posts have been set up in the streets, where Red Cross workers and volunteers from Haiti and other countries are working side-by-side to clean and stitch up wounds amidst the rubble.

  • Special Red Cross teams trained in search and rescue were able to save 40 people from a collapsed supermarket, including a small child, after 26 hours of continuous efforts.

  • Over the weekend, three planes carrying Red Cross humanitarian assistance arrived in the region, delivering a field hospital and needed materials such as tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets. Another shipment of supplies for 20,000 families arrived Monday on a cargo plane provided in partnership with FedEx.

  • The Red Cross is training 40-100 Creole-speaking volunteers who will work as translators on the USS Comfort when Haitians will be brought aboard for medical care.

  • In the days ahead, the Red Cross will begin to provide temporary shelters in Haiti. Kits, containing tarps, rope and tools, as well as tents and blankets, will be made available for an initial 20,000 families.

Emergency health response in Haiti

Red Cross Volunteer Winnie Romeril in Haiti

This post written by American Red Cross volunteer in Haiti Winnie Romeril

Winnie Romeril, ARC/ International Disaster Response Volunteer

After a tiring day of travel from Santo Domingo, I arrived at the American Red Cross office. The structure is visibly unstable but the open air office is abuzz with activity. All salvageable furniture is on the lawn, the front gates are open, and the street is orderly. It’s friendly, full of humanity. Red Cross flags hang on the walls.

In one area, two young girls wearing bright white Haitian Red Cross smocks are gently and persistently cleaning a wound beneath an old woman’s white hair. A gash on her arm is ugly and yellow, badly infected from an open fracture. They attend to her with warm smiles and easy banter, as if this situation is the most natural thing in the world. The Red Cross will take her by car to a hospital for further treatment.

Other volunteers are restocking large first aid kits with supplies that just arrived. The kits are for the first aid posts which the Red Cross has set up in the camps. Each is staffed with a doctor, a nurse and two first aiders.

On the other side of the yard, our American Red Cross head of office Matt Marek holds a team meeting. The sunset is spectacular, with the mountains in shadow and the sea glowing below. In the shadows, lie neighborhoods of rubble.

The Red Cross team reviews supplies, logistics and personnel for tomorrow. They call over four youth and announce they are now the new leadership who will head up teams tomorrow. Their groups of volunteers will comb the worst hit neighborhoods, street by street, preaching safe hygiene practices and encouraging people to come to the Red Cross first aid posts for triage, treatment and transfer if necessary.

The young leaders take over the meeting. Matt signals to me and we walk away, down the hill. About 20 feet away, the office compound wall no longer stands. We climb over the rubble into an area smaller than a baseball field where one hundred and forty-six families (over 700 people) now live. Tarps of every color are strung together over the entire space, save a small walkway around the perimeter. Red Cross flags hang high on the remaining wall to show people where to come for help.

We walk past a laughing group of children bathing with water from buckets. Matt takes me to the edge of the hill to where the land drops off precipitously. In all directions, a cascade of rubble runs like a river of rocks through every neighborhood on the sides of these mountains. We turn back toward the camp, greeting everyone with bon soir, ca va?

Matt lifts the edge of the curtain of rope and tarps and strolls in. We bend low and make our way down one of the rows under the communal plastic “roof.” We smile and acknowledge each family. Matt pauses and chats in Creole with one woman who is watching over two teenage girls in wheelchairs. One is fully bandaged toes to hips while the other has dressings around her head.

We head to the end of the row and buy some coconut cookies from a woman operating a kiosk out of her tent. Matt bargains fiercely for the cookies, barely suppressing a smile. Then once they agree on a price he pretends not to pay her and everyone nearby laughs.

The signs of resilience are encouraging. Tomorrow relief distributions will begin in this camp. But it is only the beginning of a long recovery process that will certainly take years.

Earthquake in Haiti: Update #28

January 17, 2010 – For the latest updates log on to:

Relief materials are being delivered, and more help is on the way by air, land and sea.

Today (Sunday), the Red Cross is setting up a field hospital in Jacmel which will be able to treat approximately 200 people per day.

The Red Cross has already supplied medical kits to treat 2,000 patients, and hundreds of blankets and plastic sheets have also been distributed.

A Red Cross water trucking program is now providing clean water for about 1,000 people living in a makeshift camp in the Delmas neighborhood. Latrines have also been built in the same area to help address sanitation issues.

Over the weekend, three planes carrying Red Cross humanitarian assistance were expected in the region, delivering a field hospital and needed materials such as tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets.

Another 20,000 relief items should arrive Monday on a cargo plane provided in partnership with FedEx.

In the days ahead, the Red Cross will begin to provide temporary shelters in Haiti. Kits, containing tarps, rope and tools, as well as tents and blankets, will be made available for an initial 20,000 families.

American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern is going to Haiti on Monday with Red Cross leadership from around the world and will visit relief operations.

The Red Cross is training 40-100 Creole-speaking volunteers who will work as translators on the USS Comfort when Haitians will be brought aboard for medical care.

The damage is extensive, and we know that this is going to be a massive and costly long-term recovery operation.

As of January 16, the American Red Cross has raised more than $87 million for relief efforts. We know that we are going to spend much more than that to help the people of Haiti. The Red Cross has already released $10 million for Haiti relief efforts, and will be adding more. Future allocations will be made once we know more about the situation on the ground in Haiti and the greatest needs for both the short and long term.

Red Cross Aid Reaches Haitian Earthquake Survivors

American Red Cross President & CEO Gail McGovern to travel to Port-au-Prince Monday

For continuing coverage on Red Cross Relief Efforts visit: 

WASHINGTON, Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photo Credit: American Red Cross/Talia Frenkel

Truckloads of Red Cross supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince today and thousands of responders are traveling the streets providing water and first aid as well as finding lost loved ones and transporting people with serious injuries to nearby health facilities.

“America’s support – donations made in the United States to the American Red Cross – is reaching the hands of survivors in Haiti,” said Steve McAndrew, disaster relief specialist with the American Red Cross in Port-au-Prince.

Within the convoy that arrived today are 50-bed field hospitals and purification equipment capable of producing 10,000 gallons of drinking water per day. The mobile hospitals have a dedicated section to help people cope with emotional trauma. Toys and specially-trained volunteers will be available to comfort children, who are particularly vulnerable.

Haiti Earthquake, Haitian Red Cross medical center

An additional seven truckloads of equipment and materials including medical supplies, that were on Red Cross planes re-routed to Dominican Republic Friday, are traveling overland and are expected to arrive in Port-au-Prince by Sunday. Two flights will arrive in the capital city, carrying enough relief supplies for more than 32,000 families, on Monday as well.

The American Red Cross team and responders from more than 30 countries, totaling more than 100,  have now arrived and are providing a wide-range of support, including food, water, field hospitals, emotional support and sanitation services.

“We are working with the Haitian Red Cross volunteers, who have intimate knowledge of the community,” said McAndrew. “Survivors are receiving aid from their neighbors, who they know and trust, with support from the international community.”

On Monday, American Red Cross President & CEO Gail McGovern will travel to Port-au-Prince to join other Red Cross leaders in assessing the relief efforts and planning for long-term recovery.

“Our focus now is on the immediate relief for the people of Haiti, but make no mistake, this is going to be a massive long-term recovery operation,” McGovern said. 

Since the earthquake struck, more than 19,300 people have registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross-sponsored Web site ( helping to reconnect families separated during the earthquake. Almost all of the registrations were from people searching for news about their relatives, although around 1,400 people have so far used the site to say they are safe and well.

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Concert for Haiti; Wednesday, January 20

Click HERE to see Fox 11 video of the story.

Students and faculty at Appleton’s Lawrence University are still trying to reach friends, colleagues and students at a now collapsed Haitian music school they’ve worked with closely for more than ten years.

The news is trickling in slowly. It’s been both good and bad. Some at the school have been saved, others are still trapped in the devastation.

“Wait, wait that looked like him,” student Carolyn Armstrong said pointing toward the computer in her Professor’s office.

For days now, the small room has been consumed with worry.

“There’s just always this feeling in your guy, you don’t know where this person is, you don’t know if they’re okay, when they’re going to contact you,” Armstrong said.

She left Haiti just three weeks ago, after traveling to the country with other Lawrence students and faculty to teach music. Now, as she looks at a report on the school she left behind, the shock is evident.

“It’s complete devastation, there’s still people trapped in the rubble, they’re still freeing people,” Music Professor Janet Anthony said.

Anthony has spent every summer since 1996 at the St. Trinity complex in Port au Prince. She says the convent there has collapsed, those inside were able to escape. But the trade-school is completely gone and an elementary school flattened. Then, there’s the music school.

“The accounts that people have told us are really, are really not good,” she said. “I mean it really just sandwiched on itself.”

Anthony doesn’t know if they’ll ever know how many victims were there, but they’ve made a list as the faculty and students frantically try to reach the Haitian people who’ve become friends.

“One of our students was freed literally just hours ago with a torch,” Anthony said.

Every rescue brings relief, though celebrations are short-lived.

“You look at the list and you realize that’s one person out of a hundred, it’s been, its been really hard,” Armstrong said.

The lines of communication are beginning to open, but those they reach say conditions haven’t improved.

“They don’t have water, they don’t have food and this is the third day,” Anthony said.

So, the University is planning a benefit concert for this Wednesday. Donations will go to the Red Cross and the music school they hope can one day rise again.

“They need it now, more than ever,” Armstrong said.

The “Concert for Haiti” will be held at the Lawrence University Chapel Wednesday, January 20, at 7:00pm. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Then on Thursday, FOX 11 will present a news special on the Concert for Haiti. It will be broadcast at 9:30pm Thursday.

More Information:

Scheduled performers include:

* A quartet of cellists who have all been to Haiti will perform a piece written by a 16-year-old Haitian student
* Harjinder Bedi and friends (pop style band)
* Renowned Improvisational cellist Matt Turner
* A Milwaukee choir will perform a Haitian piece of music

Video: First Lady Public Service Announcement

Earthquake in Haiti: Update #18

January 15, 2010

  • A handful of disaster responders from the American Red Cross have arrived in Port-au-Prince and are coordinating with local and international partners to overcome the logistical challenges and bring aid into the country.
  • These individuals join the 15-person staff we already had on the ground and more than six Red Cross teams that arrived from other countries yesterday. Among them are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists.
  • A second plane, carrying 40 tons of supplies – mainly medical items – is enroute to Haiti. Included on the International Committee of the Red Cross-sponsored flight are specialized kits to help treat the wounded, basic medicines and chlorine for water treatment.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross is also helping to reconnect separated families within the country. They have established a special Web site, enabling persons in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake: Within 24 hours of its launch, more than 6,000 visited the site looking for loved ones.