Nurse organizes local tent drive

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NATCHEZ — Approximately 700,000 people in Port-au-Prince are living under whatever they can salvage, and a local woman wants to help at least of a few of those people.

Geraldine Felton-Doss from Fayette is taking it upon herself to help set up tent camps in the country devastated by a January earthquake. Felton-Doss, a registered nurse, said it’s easy to see how great the need for tents in this nation is.

“Even though (Haiti is) getting monetary donations, (its people) are still in dire need of everything,” said Felton-Doss, who works at Deaconess Homecare.

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Sending monetary donations is good, Felton-Doss said. Yet, the people are still in great need of food and tents. She wonders if sending money is the best approach to help the island nation.

“If I make a donation, I’m not sure where the money ends up,” she said. “But I know if I (start this program), the tents will end up where they need to be.”

Felton-Doss is on standby waiting to go to Haiti to assist with medical needs. Still, she feels the need to do more while she waits.

“I always wanted to do something like this before,” she said. “The least I could do is put a roof over their heads, at least temporarily.”

Felton-Doss knew it would also put a smile on her face to do her part in helping Haiti recover.

“It is a thrill to see the progress,” she said. “Whether you get them back to the point where they are functional, or if you just help in the transition back to normalcy.”

Kalalou, a Jackson-based company with a 20-year history in shipments to Haiti, will get the tents there, she said. Felton-Doss said she would pay the costs of shipping and handling.

“This is just something that has been on my heart to do,” she said. “If I get one, 10 or 1,000 tents, I will be happy with what I get.”

“If someone has already donated, I’m not asking them to donate again. I just want people to do what their hearts lead them to do.”

Felton-Doss can be contacted by cell phone at 601-431-4550 or home at 601-786-8126.