Volunteers head to Haiti to coordinate relief efforts

By Chuck Weber - bio | email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - Call it a relief effort to coordinate the relief effort. Thursday Scott Lewis, owner of a West Palm Beach landscaping business, showed up at North County Airport, west of Jupiter. Lewis and a group of four others boarded a plane bound for Haiti.

Lewis founded The Eagles Wings Foundation, an organization that helps governments and charities coordinate disaster relief. The aim of Eagles Wings: making sure donations really reach those in need.

Lewis has been responding to disasters since Hurricane Floyd hit the Bahamas in 1999. The White House even recognized Lewis for his efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Still Lewis acknowledges the situation in Haiti presents an incredible challenge.

"I think it's the worst disaster in the Western Hemisphere, in modern history," remarked Lewis. "There's a lot of tremendous suffering that nobody can imagine. I can't imagine. I've never been in something this bad."

Joining Lewis on the trip is one of his employees, Felix Jean-Baptiste. Just before dawn Thursday, Jean-Baptiste said he finally heard from his children in Haiti. All of them are okay, but two nieces and a nephew lost their lives. And Jean-Baptiste's house in Haiti collapsed.

"They lose everything," said Jean-Baptiste. "Everybody outside. You don't get shower, you don't get food. No water."

And no medical care. Just a glimpse of what lies ahead for Lewis and his group.

The Eagles Wings Foundation is looking for donations, so it can send more volunteers to Haiti to help coordinate relief efforts. If you'd like to help the group, you can call 689-6283, or 313-0226, or contact by email at carol@theeagleswingsfoundation.org. The organization's Web site is http://www.theeagleswingsfoundation.org/.