OCU to Send Workers and Supplies for Haiti Relief

Ohio Christian University unveiled its Disaster Management and Relief program on Monday, January 11, 2010 with 11 new students. Disaster Management and Relief is an emerging and rapidly growing field. This program seeks to prepare students to participate in and serve others through the management of disaster relief efforts following natural or man-made disasters. OCU students will be trained to serve human suffering from initial relief through community rebuilding and redevelopment. The program at OCU is distinct. It provides a deep faith component that is often absent in other programs in the field.

Twenty-four hours after the first classes ended, a disastrous situation occurred in the Caribbean nation of Haiti that would put what these new students had chosen as a program of study to the test.

A major earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Haiti Tuesday evening at 5:53 EST. The initial quake lasted about a minute, followed by strong 5.9 and 5.5 aftershocks. The epicenter of Haiti's earthquake was six miles west of Carrefour, just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

  • Due to the devastation of the country aid is slow in arriving.
  • Four days after the event thousands of people are still trapped under debris.
  • Eyewitnesses state that more buildings have collapsed than are standing in Port-au-Prince.
  • Much of the country is without food or clean water.
  • The latest numbers are that this earthquake may have claimed the lives of as many as 500,000 individuals. The country of Haiti needs our help!

In response to the horrifying tragedy that has struck Haiti, Ohio Christian University has taken a number of steps to help ease the pain being experienced by those in Haiti:

  • Ohio Christian University already has partners on the ground in Haiti providing assistance. Dr. Mark A. Smith, President of Ohio Christian, contacted his brother-in-law Dan Irvine, a 14 year missionary, and started coordinating supplies. From almost the first moment Ohio Christian became involved.
  • Ohio Christian established a Disaster Relief Fund in which over $10,000 has been received for supplies and training and sending teams.
  • Ohio Christian Director Hicks is working with Brookhaven Church and Kevin Jones, father of OCU student Tim Jones, to send 12 team medical members Thursday Jan 22 to coordinate and work with a local hospital in Haiti. Ohio Christian University Program Director Thaddeus Hicks will be on that flight coordinating and working with the doctors. Thad has worked with Bryan Irvine, father of two current OCU students (Ashley and Heidi Irvine), who arranged the Florida flight.
  • In the upcoming days Ohio Christian University will begin collecting supplies that will be sent to our contact person in Haiti for distribution.
  • On Friday night all gate admission proceeds to Ohio Christian University Basketball games will go to the Haiti needs. Ohio Christian University is also collecting supplies. Marion General Hospital is shipping thousands of dollars of antibiotics and bandages to West Palm Beach. The need is still great.
  • Future trips for Ohio Christian University students and community members are being planned to support cleanup efforts as Rev. Irvine gives clearance. A number of faculty and students from Ohio Christian University's Disaster Management Program will be complementing a team of doctors and others from the medical field for continued work trips to Haiti to assist in the efforts over the next several months.

You Can Help

Individuals or groups wishing to make a donation can give online or mail a check to:

Ohio Christian University
1476 Lancaster Pike
Circleville, Ohio 43113

Any questions should be directed to the President's Office at 1-877-762-8669.