Sunday, November 14, 2010
Clermont Center for Homeless Children, Jacmel, Haiti
First, I want to acknowledge any country in the world must find a place for homeless children and help for them. If you choose to help some children, orphaned or no, to acquire their most basic needs, I salute you. Charity absolutely begins at home. So when you look at your own children and those in your life, imagine for a moment their lives without the most basic of needs. Perhaps you feel tomorrow is uncertain, but I ask you to ponder how it is for children with no tomorrow save in the kindness of strangers. From where comes the abundance they embrace?
Perhaps from you. AT least, someone not so different than you!
ROCK THE QUAKE
Jacmel, Haiti, is the hometown of Dr. Jacques A. Clermont.
If you ever wished you could help the disadvantaged---those utterly without recourse in events---then you can understand the life of Dr. Clermont. Even after political unrest in Haiti in the mid-60’s forced him and his wife to take up residence in the U.S., he continued to send aid, supplies, and initiate fund raisers to provide for educations while practicing medicine from Harlem Hospital @ Columbia University. In honor of his life’s work, the doctor’s family and friends set up this foundation that bears his name, after a fatal car accident in 1995.
As Astra Kelly sings, “there’s only so long to be young; it comes earlier and later and fades away faster.” Now think of being a child in a country leveled by hurricanes and earth quakes, without your parents to look after you. What kind of childhood would that be? Who knows if you will be the next Dr. Clermont yourself---but you can do nothing without help.
380,000 children, according to UNICEF estimates, were orphaned in the wake of previous crises in Haiti. Now the children without parents in wake of the earthquake early this year is without number---but their pain need not be without limit. The only line of civility between them and a miserable end is held by organizations such as Clermont House.
Its board, directed by Herve Clermont and its president, Renee Clermont, donates its time and services towards reviewing the orphanage: its needs, expenditures, and operations.
Jacques A. Clermont Memorial Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1304
Columbia, MD 21044 USA
Renee Clermont Phone: 443.542.9316
Hervé Clermont Phone: 917.279.7008
Contact Mirlene Vivens: 509.3406.0311/ 509.3705.5973
I wish I could bring to life for you the days of these children. I’m privileged to have a friend involved with orphanages in Sri Lanka; his visits there gave me clear eyes again to these innocent lives.
There will be films shown between bands at the Kava Lounge in the 2800 block of Kettner Ave., at Middletown beside Pacific Highway in San Diego.
All those so proud and headstrong over their seemingly practical self made conditions might consider, as John Donne wrote, “no man is an island, alone unto himself,” and all those made wise know the best choice at times is to consider how enlightened our self-interest might become when we reach out to those along this road of life who can walk nowhere without our hands. Haiti must not be an island, alone unto itself.
Do you doubt the gratitude of a child who has nothing of their own? Can you savor, for a moment, the many kindnesses necessary for you to have both what you appreciated and even that which you valued least?
Is kindness not remarkable, that we pass strangers and make of them brothers and sisters? It's not that I'm trying to convince you. I want you to have the fullness of each sacrifice you make.
If you feel strong, these are among the weakest, the most utterly vulnerable human beings you can imagine, in a nation without roads, supplies, investment, infrastructure.
Please see with clear eyes; be innocent. Let your sense of right bubble like a spring with pure drink, and refresh your little brothers.
My cousin Clint Disharoon is the drummer for Incomplete Neighbor. They are playing Rock the Quake tonight! I'm excited, this is the first time I'll see them live!
From the foundation site:
We are in urgent need to complete the following projects and attain these items.
Any contributions towards these items would be very much appreciated:
Repair the house to make it structurally sound ( cost unknown) - Need structual engineer
Plan to build a new wing to provide shelter for girls ASAP (cost unknown)
Improvement of a very weak solar energy system ($ 5,000)
Dig a well and create a self- contained purified water system (cost $10,000 +)
Second-hand minivan or truck ($7,000-$10,000)
Build bunk beds to double the number of chidren
Clothes and shoes for kids ages 5 -18
Mattresses/ bed sheets
Dining table & chairs
second-hand computers or laptops
The Jacques A. Clermont Memorial, Inc. (JACMF) is a charitable, 501 [c] (3) non-profit organization
established in the memory of Dr. Jacques A. Clermont, whose life ended tragically in a car accident in 1995.