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UMTV: College Campout for Haiti


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A massive earthquake in Haiti left many of those who survived living in tents, and created thousands of new orphans. College students at a church in Louisiana raised money for relief efforts while experiencing what it's like to live in a tent. Reed Galin reports.


(Locator: Shreveport, La.)

Sixty young people camped out for a cause at Centenary College &ellipsis; among them, Sarah Duet.

Sarah Duet, Centenary College Student: "You wake up a whole lot wetter and colder than you went to bed."

Britney Winn, Earthquake Survivor: "The idea was to come together and get a group together to sleep on the ground in an effort to live in solidarity with the Haitians for a week."

Britney Winn, a member of Shreveport, Louisiana's First United Methodist Church, wanted to make a statement &ellipsis; and a difference. Winn was in Haiti working with orphans when the January 12th earthquake hit, and saw thousands of survivors huddled in tents.

Students holding signs: "We want to rebuild the orphanage."

Students like Maegan Shanks wanted to do something.

Maegan Shanks, Centenary College Student: "Sometimes we get caught up in our own lives that we forget about those who live amongst us."

Justin Kirkes, Centenary College Student: "When this earthquake happened, like, my heart just broke. I couldn't look away."

Justin Kirkes was inspired to join the tent camp called Cite' Lespwa &ellipsis; Haitian Creole for "city of hope."

Student takes donation: "Thank you for supporting our efforts."

The weeklong campout raised nearly 50,000 dollars for Haiti's orphans &ellipsis; a few dollars at a time.

Sarah Duet: "We had an 11-year-old kid walk up with a big jar full of money from his birthday party. He didn't let anybody give him presents."

Britney Winn: "We're right here at the bus stop, and so people are getting off the bus. They'll just empty their pockets and put it in our buckets."

Some tent city participants have been to Haiti to help and hold orphaned children, and can't wait to go back.

Sarah Duet: "Their eyes are so dark and beautiful, I could see my reflection completely clearly in his eyes, like a mirror. I want that to be the mirror I look in and gauge myself and who I am."

For the latest news and information on UMCOR's relief efforts in Haiti, call 800-554-8583.

You can donate online or make checks payable to UMCOR and mail to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Please indicate Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325 on the memo line of your check. One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will go to help the people of Haiti.

Posted: January 27, 2010

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