The following letter is from the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Dear IGLHRC Supporter:
By now, I'm sure you are aware of the heartbreaking aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday. The disaster has devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince and Haiti's fragile infrastructure, with tens of thousands of people killed and countless others now lacking the most basic access to services, food and shelter. The earthquake has been catastrophic for every sector of society, including Haiti's LGBT community.
Last year I was privileged to visit Haiti and to spend time with SEROvie, the main organization providing HIV-related services for men who have sex with men ( MSM ) , transgender people and other members of our community. This morning, I received a message from Steve La Guerre, the dynamic leader of SEROvie, and he asked that I pass along a message about the tragedy's impact on the group and its work:
We were having our usual support group meeting on a quiet Tuesday afternoon when the worst happened. The sound is unforgettable. I can't even describe the horror as the ceiling and the wall of the conference room started to fall and the chaos started. Fourteen young men were lost forever in the earthquake. Paul Emile, the leader of the group, and Stacy were the only survivors.
It is now more than ever that SEROvie and ACCV ( Civic Action Against HIV ) are needed to provide the quality services we have been providing to our beneficiaries: food, clothes, and any type of help is needed for our members. Any help will do.
Light a candle for these souls and for Haiti. Lord help us.
IGLHRC has sent funds directly to SEROvie to allow their services and supplies to continue to reach their LGBT and HIV-affected clients in Haiti. We are also providing funds to groups such as Colectiva Mujer y Salud, a feminist Dominican organization that has crossed the border into Haiti in order to assist with direct relief to our communities and to the many other victims.
If you are able to contribute directly to these relief efforts, please donate with this link: http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/globalactionalerts/1074.html
One hundred percent of contributions made through this page will go directly to our friends and colleagues in Haiti.
In this time of crisis and need, please support the courageous and necessary relief work being done to help the people of Haiti, regardless of where you donate your money, supplies, or time.
Cary Alan Johnson
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission