Haiti a Little Closer to Home

The news and photos following the earthquake in Haiti certainly put a lot of life's problems in perspective, even though it's a "far away" problem. But in this case a member of the paving and pavement maintenance community is tied closely to Haiti and an orphanage there that could use your help. Bob Krebs, SealMaster North Carolina, has been a speaker on marketing at numerous National Pavement Expo and National Pavement Expo West shows, but he's also on the board of the Free The Kids orphanage about 90 miles away from Port au Prince. Bob had planned on speaking in Nashville but an orphanage meeting conflicted so we was supposed to be in Haiti during NPE -- though he doesn't know when he'll be able to fly in now. I dropped him a note the other day to see how the orphanage had come through, and here's Bob's reply: "Thank you for your e-mail. The Port au Prince airport is closed at this time. Not sure when we will get out at this point. The Hotel Montana that I stayed in last March no longer exists. Neither does the Cathedral I stood next to. Neither does the Presidential Palace I took a picture of. The Free The Kids orphanage is 90 miles SW of the epicenter. Our buildings are reinforced with steel and the buildings held. None of the 650 kids got hurt. Now the problem. We have 55 gallons of diesel fuel left and about 5 days of meals. Plus, once the roads become passable, we believe that parents whose spouse was killed will be dropping off their children because they can’t take care of them. We are clearly not ready for this catastrophe but we are trying the best we can." As of this writing individual Americans have donated more than $6 million to the relief cause in Haiti -- quite a statement considering the tough times the country is in the midst of. But if you have a few dollars you can spare make a visit to www.freethekids.org and help out where you can.