Although they are separated by nearly 1,600 miles, the distance between East Freetown and Haiti feels a lot smaller these days thanks to the efforts of a local church.

The Caribbean nation has been ravaged recently by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake followed by Tropical Storm Grace just days later.

"There's no infrastructure left in Haiti, between the devastation from the earthquake last Sunday, and two days later a tropical storm dumping 10 inches of rain, causing there to be no roads, no gasoline, no drinkable water, and there's no food," said Rev. Don Bliss of the East Freetown Congregational Christian Church. "The situation, coming into last week's earthquake losses was already dire, and then this."

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Rev. Bliss, along with Christine Paiva, talked about their East Freetown church raising money to wire directly to a fellow minister who started a church deep in the Haitian jungle.

"We met the pastor, who'd been called by God, to build a church in this place far in the jungle. The region was purely voodoo, a religion of human and animal sacrifice. Two young boys of the church don't speak a word, because they watched their father be-headed in a Voodoo ceremony," Bliss said.

The money raised this week will be wired to Haiti by the weekend, so people can eat and drink water.

"The Haitians are resilient, resourceful and industrious people, but they only live on about 1,600 calories per week," Bliss said. Not a day, like you or I might eat, but a week.

Do you know what a "restavek" is? When a Haitian family can't afford to feed their children, the parents send them to work for wealthy households, as domestic servants, that more often than not involves the worst kind of sexual and physical abuse, because they're not blood relatives, and can be traded for value.

The conditions are so bad, the women make "BonBon Terre," which looks like baked cookies, only they're made from 100 percent from dirt and mud. Destitute Haitian mothers agonize that there is nothing else to eat, and the BonBon Terres fill their children's stomachs.

The money you give will go to "buy tarps, food, water purification tablets, medicines and medical supplies, and it will make a direct impact on the people there," Bliss said. "A tarp equals a house in Haiti."

Send a check payable to EFCCC, P.O. Box 825, Freetown, MA 02717 for the Haitian Fund, or if you prefer to use PayPal, the email address to direct your donation to You can request a tax receipt because of their 501(c)(3) status.

"Dollar for dollar, other than the transfer fee, your money goes to the people and directly into the Haitian economy," Bliss said.

A Look at the Devastation in Haiti

Rev. Don Bliss of the East Freetown Congregational-Christian Church shared photos of the devastation in Haiti following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake followed by Tropical Storm Grace.

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