Sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet and shoe charity Soles4Souls joined forces Jan. 15 in an effort to collect footwear for victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Haiti.
less than two weeks, more than 950,000 pairs of gently worn men's,
women's and children's shoes were dropped off at Sport Chalet’s 55 stores.
"We are simply floored by the overwhelming support that our partners at
Sport Chalet have received,” Wayne Elsey, founder and chief executive of
Soles4Souls, said in a statement. “Their donations will be used to
bring hope to the people of Haiti as they struggle to rebuild their
lives. We are proud of the public for stepping up to help those less
Ten Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after the earthquake were charged Thursday with child kidnapping and criminal association, their Haitian lawyer said.
Edwin Coq said a judge found sufficient evidence to file charges against the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended the hearing and has represented the entire group in Haiti.
The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital. One of them, Laura Silsby, waved and smiled faintly to reporters but declined to answer questions.
Twenty-five years after the all-star recording of "We Are the World" became a signature moment in celebrity altruism and pop-music history, a new collection of stars came together Monday at the same Hollywood recording studio to record a new version for Haiti earthquake relief.
Just as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan descended on the A&M Studios on La Brea to sing for famine relief in Africa, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Kanye West and Keith Urban turned up at the same sound stage (now called Henson Recording Studios) to join a celebrity chorus that was 100 voices strong.
The 1985 effort, called USA for Africa, raised $63 million and became a template for famous-face fundraising. The new single will premiere Feb. 12 on NBC during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics with the hope that the download single can help funnel aid into the ravaged island nation.
The United Nations' culture and education agency called Friday for a ban on trading in artifacts from Haiti to prevent the pillaging of cultural treasures in the aftermath of the island nation's devastating earthquake.
The director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said in an interview with the Associated Press that the agency is launching a campaign to protect art collections in the Caribbean country's damaged museums as well as its historical sites "so that we don't find these objects in Christie's tomorrow."
The U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization launched the appeal after learning "a lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan," where cultural objects were looted after the U.S.-led invasions.
A little over a week ago, 5-year-old Monley Elize was gulping fruit juice and standing on two small shaky feet in a medical clinic here, the heralded survivor of eight days buried in the rubble of his home.
Since then, he's been featured on CNN and he and his uncle also appeared on NBC. The initial report in The Times brought dozens of offers of help. Around Port-au-Prince, where Monley's was a rare good-news story in a city devastated by the Jan. 12 earthquake, the pint-sized survivor is recognized on local buses, his uncle says.
On Friday, Monley was staying deep inside a sprawling tent city, where 12 people — Monley, his two brothers, an uncle, aunt, cousins and other homeless relatives — share a 15-by-15-foot patch of brown earth. For shade, they were using a flowered bedsheet stretched between scavenged wood planks. His aunt, Kazmita, was boiling rice for supper.
When the earthquake struck, Monley said, he tried to get out of his family's ground-floor apartment, but he was blocked by a falling door. He squatted in a corner under a small metal table as the three-story building collapsed.
Relief officials are scrambling to confront a sanitation crisis that could spread malaria, cholera and other deadly diseases throughout the chaotic camps packed with hundreds of thousands of Haitian earthquake survivors.
Shortages of food, clean water, adequate shelter and latrines are creating a potential spawning ground for epidemics in a country with an estimated 1 million people made homeless by the Jan. 12 quake.
On Saturday, a single portable toilet served about 2,000 people in a sprawling camp across the street from the collapsed National Palace, forcing most to use a gutter that runs next to an area where vendors cook food and mothers struggle to bathe their children.
"We wash the vegetables first from water brought in by trucks, but a lot of times the water isn't clean," said Marie Marthe, 45, cooking a large pot of collard greens, carrots and goat as flies gathered on her daughter's diaper. "We don't have any choice."
Clifford Berrette, 11 years old and 4 feet tall, moved like a determined little man through the choking exhaust of the bus terminal in scuffed white sneakers, unnoticed in the crush of people hurrying to leave town.
He picked up a rag from the ground and began to wipe the dirt off a blue minibus, clambering up bumpers and tires to reach the high spots. A taller boy started to clean the vehicle too, but Clifford wasn't going to let him horn in; he shoved him away. Then he extended a small palm to the driver.
"Pretty good job with just a rag," driver Gilbert Pierre said, handing Clifford 25 gourdes, about 50 cents. Beaming with pride, Clifford retreated to the shade, removed one of his sneakers and put the money inside.
It would be safe there until he could give it to his mother. "She promised to cook food tonight if I brought her money," he said.
Photo: Clifford Berrette, 11, stands next to the rubble of his neighbor's home. He and his mother lived in a metal shack below, where his 2-year-old sister died in the earthquake. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times.
The trailer industry and lawmakers are pressing the government to send Haiti thousands of potentially formaldehyde-laced trailers left over from Hurricane Katrina — an idea denounced by some as a crass and self-serving attempt to dump inferior American products on the poor.
"Just go ahead and sign their death certificate," said Paul Nelson of Coden, Ala., who contends his mother died because of formaldehyde fumes in a FEMA trailer.
The 100,000 trailers became a symbol of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's bungled response to Katrina. The government had bought the trailers to house victims of the 2005 storm, but after people began falling ill, high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical that is used in building materials and can cause breathing problems and perhaps cancer, were found inside. Many of the trailers have sat idle for years, and many are damaged.
A memorial service for Victoria DeLong, 57, a career diplomat who was killed Jan. 12 when her house collapsed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, will be held Saturday in Whittier, her hometown.
DeLong, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, served as a cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Scheduled to attend the 1:30 p.m. service at Rose Hills Memorial Park are Ambassador Nancy J. Powell, director general of the Foreign Service, and Susan R. Johnson, president of the American Foreign Service Assn. in Washington.
In a Jan. 15 statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said DeLong "worked tirelessly to build bridges of understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of Haiti."
Thomas Switzer, a spokesman for the association, said at least six Foreign Service nationals died and 28 others are unaccounted for.
This Sunday, January 31, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. there will be a bake sale at Scoops, 712 N. Heliotrope Dr., East Hollywood, to benefit Doctors Without Borders USA, who are on the ground helping with the medical needs in Haiti.