More opportunities arise for locals to help Haiti

UPDATE: For its part, Studio 206 will offer special classes, from which teachers will donate their portion of the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders and the Building Goodness Foundation.

Classes begin January 20 and extend through January 27. Contact Studio 206 for more information.

Following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti last Tuesday, many Charlottesville residents began to undertake the sorts of efforts that follow such disasters: reaching out to check the status of friends and family in Haiti, or offering assistance through various local aid options.

The local Building Goodness Foundation continues to track news from Port-au-Prince, and announced the day after that earthquake that an anonymous BGF donor offered a $5,000 challenge grant in support of the House of David Community Health Center based in Thomassin. Following initial concerns for the status of the health center, BGF posted updates to state that both the health center and other BGF compounds remain standing, although questions remain as to whether they’re currently functional.

On Thursday evening, a press release from UVA’s Batten School of Leadership sharednews of the death of student Stephanie Jean-Charles. A 2009 graduate of UVA and a Master’s Degree candidate, Jean-Charles died of a head injury in her home in Port-au-Prince, according to a letter from Batten School Dean Harry Harding. He added that Jean-Charles’ "aspiration was to take the knowledge and skills she learned at the Batten School to try to improve the educational system in Haiti and to keep children in school."

The Charlottesville Newsplex posted a story on Saturday about Claudelle Gehy, another UVA students from Haiti who survived the earthquake with her family. Gehy, a friend of Jean-Charles, sent photos of the earthquake aftermath to CBS19, which you can view here.

Local support efforts continued to spring up in the days following the earthquake. On Friday, C-VILLE received word that the Consignment House on the Downtown Mall had acquired between 100 and 150 paintings by artists from Haiti and the Dominican Republic that it would sell for between $85 and $300, with proceeds benefitting a charity to be determined.

This Saturday starting at 5:30pm, Fry’s Spring Beach Club will host "Hoos for Haiti and Cvillian Relief," a benefit concert to support Partners in Health and Gheskio, two organizations aiding in relief efforts. Tickets are a suggested $15 donation in advance and $20 at the door; 100 percent of proceeds will go to the aforementioned groups. Bands include the Buzzard Hollow Boys, 180, Acme Swing Manufacturing Company, Jeebus and The Gladstones.

Please post comments below to let us know what you have heard and seen, and what you are doing to help.—Brendan Fitzgerald

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