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Bon Secours Health System Response To Haiti Relief Needs

As part of its Global Ministries, Bon Secours Health System is committed to helping people in need wherever they may be in the struggle to create a more humane world. Yesterday’s earthquake striking Haiti was devastating. As you have seen on the news, much of the city of Port Au Prince was demolished including the National Palace, National Cathedral, schools and government buildings. Several hundred thousand people are feared dead, many Doctors Without Borders staff are missing, the prison has collapsed, inmates escaped, outcome of the hospital unknown, and many people trapped in collapsed U.N. headquarters, plus much more.

BSHSI is working in conjunction with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), and other Catholic health systems on a plan of action for providing relief support. This plan will address the relief needs on two levels: Short Term and Long Term.

On the short term basis, cash is what is needed. BSHSI will immediately send $50,000 to CRS and CMMB to begin relief efforts. In addition, we are accepting donations to the Bon Secours Mission Fund (BSMF) from employees which will be sent to CRS and CMMB to support Haiti relief efforts. All employee donations up to $100,000 to the BSMF for the Haiti Relief Fund will be matched by BSHSI. Below is the information on where to send checks:

Bon Secours Mission Fund
c/o Edward F. Gerardo
Bon Secours Health System, Inc.
1505 Marriottsville Road
Marriottsville, Maryland 21104

Please make your check payable to “The Bon Secours Mission Fund”. On the bottom notation area of the check you should write: Haiti Relief Fund (Note: Do not make your checks payable to Haiti Relief Fund).

If you prefer to use a credit card to make your donation, you may go to the CRS or CMMB websites directly (www.crs.org or www.cmmb.org). Please note that BSHSI will not match funds directly donated to these agencies. Only those contributions made to the Mission Fund will be eligible for the matching BSHSI funds.

For the long term, the groups will be assessing the ongoing and longer range needs, including rebuilding efforts. As the needs are identified and this plan unfolds, we’ll keep you apprised of any actions BSHSI will take, but a second cash donation, equipment and supply donations are very likely.

Finally, please mark your calendars for a prayer service on behalf of our Haitian neighbors on January 20, 2010. Sr. Rosemary Moynihan is drafting a prayer and will be working with BSHSI mission leaders to plan for this system-wide prayer. We are asking all local systems to use existing vehicles (huddles, meetings, moment of meditation, whatever is practical at your sites) to take a moment and share this prayer for the people of Haiti. More will be forthcoming on that shortly.

On behalf of Bon Secours Ministries and BSHSI, we thank you in advance for whatever support you can contribute. We have always stepped up to the plate to provide Good Help to Those in Need ® to people affected by disasters. We will do so again! Thank you.

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