Connecticut volunteers leave for Haiti

Volunteers load luggage to go to Haiti/Rebecca Newman - Creedible.comSTAMFORD – Carolyn Lang has never been to Ecole le Bon Samaritain and she’s never met the 180 students that attend school there. On Friday afternoon, though, she stood in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford and said she was ready to go to her school.

 

Lang, 56, is one of several volunteers traveling to Haiti as part of the Good Samaritan Rebuilding Fund. With her bags filled with Tootsie Pops (1,100 of them) to give to the children of Carrefour – where the school is located – Lang met other volunteers at the church to collect bags of donated medical supplies before continuing on to New York to catch a plane to Santo Domingo.

The Good Samaritan Rebuilding Fund has already sent two teams to Haiti. The organization hopes to ultimately rebuild the school, which was severely damaged in the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Lang is on what has been nicknamed Team Andrew 3 – named for Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, which has piloted the relief efforts.

The team of five people, including Lang, two out-of-state volunteers, a doctor, and Mona Millien, who is the executive director of the school. Millien lives in Carrefour, but had returned briefly to Connecticut after the earthquake to recuperate. She and her husband, Jean-Elie Millien, run the school.  Jean is the founder of Epiphanie Episcopal Church in Stamford.

As she helped load bags of supplies, Lang, who attends Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Enfield, said she wasn’t nervous to travel overseas.

“I have such a calm excitement,” she said. “I just know it’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Lang described herself as a stay-at-home mom of four grown children.

Three years ago her bible study group, called The Bible Chicks, raised money for Hope for Haiti and Lang said she’s had a heart for the Haitian nation ever since.

“I just can’t wait to get over there and start helping those people,” she said.

For two weeks she’ll be working at a clinic in Carrefour, distributing food, diapers and other wellbeing items to the community there. She’s also bringing toys, harmonicas and hats to give away.

Her husband, Mike Lally, will be posting updates on Lang’s trip on the Caroline Lang’s Haiti Experience facebook page. A friend lent Lang an AT&T cell phone to use while she’s in Haiti. AT&T is one of the only phone services working in the Carrefour area and AT&T is allowing free cell phone usage for anyone traveling to Haiti.

Lally said he’s a little nervous about his wife going to Haiti. Particularly, he said, about her 12-hour bus ride from Santo Domingo to Carrefour. But he said he’s eased knowing that the Ecole le Bon Samaritain is so well respected in the Carrefour community.Donated supplies for Haiti are stored in Stamford/Rebecca Newman - Creedible.com

Gus Schlegel, a volunteer from St. John’s, has helped get the teams and their supplies from Stamford to the airport. He said Team Andrew 3 will be able to buy $1,000 worth of food at the Haiti, Santo Domingo border.

“We have a huge amount of volunteers. It’s fantastic,” he said, noting that all the money and supplies have been donated from individuals and organizations from across the state.

He said anyone can help the Good Samaritan Rebuilding Fund by making financial contributions and donating medical supplies. He said sleeping bags and tents are the organizations biggest need right now.

For information on how to help visit this blog, where updates on Team 3 will be posted regularly.

See photos from Team 2’s work in Haiti here. (Photos by nurse Ann Giuli).

Creedible.com will be traveling as part of Team Andrew 4 on Feb. 17.

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