Outreach Community Responds to Hurricane Matthew

Like the rest of you, we here at Outreach have watched the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew in recent days with feelings of dread and heartbreak. The footage and photos are still coming out, and by most indications, what we’ve seen so far isn’t close to the worst of it. Like the rest of you, we feel compelled to help as much and as quickly as possible.

While Outreach works in poor communities around the world (including Haiti), our mission is not— nor has it ever been— to be an organization whose work is about relief. Although organizations that respond with relief are crucial in times of crisis, doing so just isn’t our primary focus. Outreach transforms communities, making them much more resilient through a process where those affected by deep poverty find their way to a more stable, hopeful future.

Many Outreach supporters— kind, caring individuals, all— have contacted us recently to inquire about our plans to provide emergency relief to those living and working in our Haitian locations, and to ask how they can help. Last year, in the wake of two typhoons making landfall in some of our communities in the Philippines, we gained experience on how we can effectively put our resources to work in times like this. What we learned then, along with our response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, encourages us to suggest the following to our Outreach supporters:

  • For those who are moved to have their contributions used immediately: Find a reputable organization that does strong relief work. One source that addresses relief and might be helpful to you is found here.
  • We’re still awaiting word on how the storm affected the schools in Haiti in which we work; as you can imagine, reliable communication with our community partners there is somewhat difficult to obtain. So far, we know that at least one school had its roof torn from its rafters, which led to the destruction of all the school’s seating. Once we’re fully apprised of the damage’s scope, we’ll be able to share with you how we will address repairs and cleanup. If you would like to contribute to this effort now, please use this donation form. 

Thank you again to all who have contacted us to ask about how they can help. These conversations are further proof of the empathy, love, and care embodied by our supporters.

Further thanks to you for being our true partner in all our efforts to create a better world for others.

Dr. Kevin W. Prine
President & CEO