How to help|
Anyone interesting in sending a donation to help the people of Honduras can do so by mailing it to one of the following addresses:
Residents continue to wait on rooftops for help in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, which dumped 25 inches of rain in six hours and brought on huge mudslides in the Central American country about the size of Tennessee.
The devastation brought on by Mitch has prompted Mercer County residents with ties to the country to provide aid.
Cheryl Howell, her husband, Marty, and their three children have been working as missionaries in Honduras for 12 years. A native of the Greenville area, Mrs. Howell has been updating her family about the state of San Pedro Sula via e-mail.
"She said she'll never forget listening to mothers screaming for their children who were still inside the houses," said Corine Hoyson, Mrs. Howell's sister. "Or fathers trying to save the cars, which may sound silly for us but for people who make $100 a year they save for years. Many who went did not return."
Denisse Cukierkorn, a native of Honduras who lives in Farrell, has been talking with her parents and sister living in the nation's capital of Tegucigalpa.
"The people who are alive are starving," she said. "Much of the relief can't get to many of the people. People who had very little, now have nothing."
Mrs. Cukierkorn's father, who is active in the city's Rotary Club, is working with others to lend aid. The family owns a chemical lab and is donating medicines.
"No one is working," she said. "They are helping people full time. This has set the country back at least 20 years. But out of the tragedy everyone has united -- rich and poor -- to help each other out."
Mrs. Cukierkorn is working through Temple Beth Israel in Sharon to collect money to send to Honduras.
"I know the money is going to get channeled into the right hands," she said, adding that it would be distributed through Rotary International. "Any thing that anyone could give would be wonderful."
In Honduras alone, 700,000 people will need food for the next month, U.N. World Food Program representative Giuseppi Lubatti estimated.
Ms. Hoyson's parish, Sharon Baptist Church in Hermitage, worked with other parishes to collect items to be shipped to Honduras today. It was unclear if and when another shipment of supplies could go out.
"They (the Howells) are trying to feed more than 300 people a day," Ms. Hoyson said.
In a race against time, relief agencies trying to feed tens of thousands isolated by Hurricane Mitch are struggling to deliver tons of food, despite ruptured roads, backed-up airports and too few helicopters.
"It's even hard for people to get around in the city," Mrs. Cukierkorn said. "All of the bridges in the country were wiped out."
Hunger and disease threaten to raise the death toll from Mitch, which Central American officials estimate has killed more than 10,000 in the region. If confirmed, that would make Mitch among the five worst hurricanes ever in the Caribbean.
Marilyn Riley of Hermitage has made five trips to Honduras with Pro-Papa Missions to provide medical and dental treatment for the people.
"For people to think Miami had a hurricane and everything is OK now don't realize that the federal government and others were there to lend aid," she said. "But the government doesn't have anything to give in Honduras."
Mrs. Riley agreed that money is the best donation because it's easy to get in and out of the country. Supplies are more difficult to transport into the country.
U.S. military engineers have been sent to help repair roads and bridges. U.S. forces also will help transport pipes into Tegucigalpa to repair the water network, now running at 25 percent capacity.