Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti ~ Faith, Hope & Charity

Montreal has a very large Haitian community because of our common language (French) and relatively close proximity to Haiti. Over the years our government has encouraged Haitians to immigrate here and they form an important part of our rich cultural mosaic.

There are almost thirty Haitians working at Rideau and each one has family members in Haiti that have been touched by the tragedy that occurred on January 12th and which continues to unfold every day.

One young girl who recently joined Rideau had seven siblings on the island when the earthquake occurred. Her brother was trapped for three days in a church that had collapsed. Another employee’s mother was missing. It is stories like these along with images coming out of Haiti that are almost too difficult to watch which make us realize there is little we can do to relieve the suffering other than donating money for food, water, clothing and medicine.

Rideau has tried to help out in practical ways. We had a meeting with our Haitian colleagues and told them our fund raising efforts would immediately focus on providing monetary assistance to a charity of their choice. They unanimously chose the Red Cross. We also told them that we could provide individual psychological counseling through our employee assistance program. We also provided them a room and phone lines to try and communicate with their family members. Finally, we told them they should feel free to approach us if they needed emergency financial assistance for their family members in Haiti.

I am so proud of my company. The other day, Rideau’s fund raising committee organized a lunch with proceeds going to the Red Cross. Forty-seven people donated various dishes and raised over $6,000 for the Red Cross Haitian Relief Fund, which is actually resulting in a grand total of $12,000 – our Federal Government has promised to match contributions from citizens and businesses who have donated to eligible organizations in support of humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

And our efforts will continue.

It is times like these that make faith, hope and charity so important.

Please click below if you would like to donate:


Anonymous said...

Thanks to the entire Rideau family for demonstrating compassion to those affected by the Haiti tradegy.
My prayers are with the Haitian members of Rideau.

Denise White

Johane said...

Congratulations, Peter. Rideau sounds like a genuinely caring company, as reflected not only in this post but in your entire blog.