Friends of the Orphans and Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos International Assessing Haiti Earthquake Situation and Requesting Monetary Donations to Assist Rescue Efforts of First Responders

Jan 13, 2010, 14:33 ET from Friends of the Orphans

CHICAGO, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Friends of the Orphans, a Chicago-based nonprofit that supports a network of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters") homes and their outreach programs in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Haiti, is currently assessing the damage from Tuesday's 7.3 magnitude Haitian earthquake and responding swiftly with aid and support. As the organizations mobilize efforts, they are requesting monetary donations to support the rescue efforts and supply needs of first responders.

"The earthquake in Haiti and its consequences are absolutely devastating, and our foremost concern is to help those in Haiti who have been affected by it," said Friends of the Orphans CEO Sharon Saxelby.  "We are working to bring accurate, updated and comprehensive information to those in the Friends of the Orphans and NPH families and our greatest need at this time is monetary donations to support first responders' efforts."

NPH and Friends of the Orphans presence in Haiti is widespread. St. Damien Hospital in Tabarre, 15 miles northeast of the epicenter, has sustained major structural damage, but is still standing.

The Fr. Wasson Center in Petionville serves as a guest house, volunteer residence, administrative offices and a day school for children with disabilities, and has completely collapsed. Rescuers and aid workers are assessing the extent of injuries.

According to Jennifer Rayno, Director of Haiti initiative for Friends of the Orphans, all 350 children at the St. Helene orphanage in Kenscoff, 11 miles east of the epicenter, are safe and have sustained no injuries, and the complex is intact.

Because of the widespread destruction and extensive rescue effort throughout the areas impacted, financial aid is great. All donations made to Friends of the Orphans will be directly applied to needs of first responders such as first aid supplies, shipping of necessary materials to assist in efforts, and treating the injured. Friends of the Orphans and NPH will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Please visit, or call 888-201-8880 to make a donation in response to this tragedy.

About Friends of the Orphans

A 40-year-old nonprofit organization with six regional offices in the United States, Friends of the Orphans supports a network of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters") homes and their outreach programs in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries. Together, Friends of the Orphans and NPH transform the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children by creating families for life through values of unconditional love, shared responsibility and education. This enables children to transcend poverty and grow into caring and productive members of their communities.

Since its founding in 1954, NPH has assisted nearly 16,000 children and currently cares for more than 3,300 in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. NPH outreach programs, including the only free pediatric hospital in Haiti, serve more than 30,000 children each year. By making a difference in the lives of the children through volunteer and donation opportunities, our supporters' lives are enhanced as well. For more information about Friends of the Orphans, please visit

SOURCE Friends of the Orphans