Personal statement: Deborah Peabody, Safe Harbor Haiti Water Project Donations Coordinator, March 2011
I was painfully aware of the suffering in Haiti even before the devastating earthquake. Then the storms and floods began. When I began hearing about the cholera outbreak it was enough to make me want to turn off the news, I felt so helpless and sad. Then my brother called. "Isn't cholera transmitted by dirty water?" he asked. He told me that he had found some simple, effective, affordable water filters intended for use in rustic areas. He'd already ordered a case to be sent to Haiti and had found a way to get them there. "Seems to be a better investment than medicine,” he said. As we continued discussing the possibilities my hope began to return. Gordon wondered aloud if local churches might be willing to buy more filters to send. I contacted people I knew from each of 3 local churches and the word went out. The first church, the first week, got donations for an entire case of filters. From there the donations continued to grow. It seemed that anyone who heard about the effort wanted to buy at least one filter. I think they felt, as I did, such happiness at being able to do something so helpful for so little. I was particularly moved at the Holiday Craft Fair in Wellfleet when people in the midst of stressful gift shopping stopped at our booth and, excited to hear about the possibility of giving such a significant gift to people they didn't know, donated generously. I have seldom been involved in a project that did so much to restore my faith in people and gave me so much joy.