Mission 500 Rallies Security Industry Relief Efforts in Haiti


Mission 500, a nonprofit organization affiliated with World Vision, is rallying fundraising efforts within the security industry to help bring emergency supplies and services to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Led by security industry leaders, Mission 500 was already responding to Haiti’s needs in its work to assist children and communities in crisis when a massive earthquake struck just 10 miles outside of Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12.

“Now, more than ever, Haiti needs help,” says George Fletcher, a co-founder of Mission 500. “We urge everyone in the security industry to get involved in supporting our efforts to aid in what is perhaps the worst natural disaster in terms of human toll of our lifetime in the Americas.”

World Vision, a humanitarian organization that provides emergency relief, economic development and other services in communities around the world, has worked in Haiti for many years. Among its 370 staff members working throughout Haiti, Magalie Boyer experienced the temblor near its epicenter.

“This was the most powerful earthquake on record in the area and there is extensive damage in the city. People are spending the night in the streets. They are not comfortable staying in their houses,” Boyer says. “World Vision Haiti will distribute first aid kits to survivors, along with basic materials such as soap, blankets, clothes and bottles of water as an initial response.”

World Vision’s workers from less affected regions of Haiti are mobilizing and the agency’s global experts are expected to arrive in the disaster zone with relief goods as soon as possible.

“We would be very concerned about a quake of this magnitude anywhere in the world, but it is especially devastating in Haiti, where people are acutely vulnerable because of poor infrastructure and extreme poverty,” says Edward Brown, World Vision’s relief director in the United States.

According to the U.N. Office for the Special Envoy for Haiti, unemployment reaches 70 percent nationally, and 78 percent of Haitians live on less than $2 a day. A New York Times story in 2008 reported that one in five Haitian children is chronically malnourished.

Long before the earthquake hit, Mission 500 was raising funds for relief efforts in Haiti, which has been ravaged by deadly hurricanes in recent years. For example, about 40 people from the security industry community in South Florida are scheduled to participate in the ING Half Marathon on Jan. 31. The goal is to raise $25,000 to help sponsor needy children as part of Operation “Hope for Haiti.” Mission 500 already has more than $11,000 in committed donations.

Mission 500 is also hosting a 5K charity run at ISC West in Las Vegas on March 25, a first of its kind event at an ISC Expo. Altronix, HID Global, LRG Marketing Communications and Morse Watchmans are charter sponsors. To learn more about the fundraiser or to register, visit www.mission500.org.

Individuals who want to support immediate relief efforts in Haiti can make a cash donation at www.worldvision.org/mission500haiti.

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