2 years later, Red Cross still working to rebuild Haiti

SA Red Cross raised $1.2 million

SAN ANTONIO - It's been two years since a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti and since then, the American Red Cross has been there trying to help people rebuild their homes and their lives.

"It's very hard to believe that it's been two full years," said Mike Bennett, RCEO for the American Red Cross. "The Red Cross was the recipient of $486 million of donations from the American people."

So far, the Red Cross has spent $330 million on relief and recovery. Bennett said they have been working to help people get into better housing and a into healthier environment.

Volunteers have been focusing on providing health services and hygiene education to more than 2. 4 million people, along with clean water and sanitation services.

"Cholera which basically had disappeared from Haiti at one point came back after this earthquake," said Bennett. "It's a deadly disease and you have to fight it everyday. So, we spend a lot of time getting better water quality, better sanitation and training people how to avoid getting sick."

However, Bennett said rebuilding Haiti, a country already poor before the earthquake, has been challenging.

For example, he said, records were destroyed causing confusion on who owned what land, delaying the constructions process.

"We're a guest in the country," he said. "We have to work with and through the local government and so, it just makes it slower than we would like it to be for the people effected."

Despite the challenges, Bennett said every donation, including the $1.2 million just from San Antonio, has helped.

"You got a dollar and you're willing to give it, that helps," he said. You got a $100,000 and you're willing to help, that helps too. But, we want everybody to help. So, folks shouldn't think "I don't have enough, that'll make a difference."


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