FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2010
DSS Employees Donate More Than $13,000 for Children in Haiti
- Louisiana Department of Social Services (DSS) Secretary Kristy Nichols today announced that employees from across the state contributed $13,860 for Save the Children, a non-profit organization working to address the critical needs of children and families affected by the earthquake in Haiti.
"The devastating earthquake in Haiti reminded many at DSS of the struggles Louisiana has faced during natural disasters in recent years," said Nichols. "Our employees wanted to help provide relief and refuge for the most vulnerable victims of the earthquake."
In order to provide a opportunity for DSS employees to come together and make a difference as one, the agency began a fundraising drive for Save the Children, an agency that works in the United States and around the world to ensure that children in need grow up safe, educated and healthy and better able to attain their rights.
"Our employees recognized the similarity between our mission to keep children safe, help families and individuals become self-sufficient and provide safe refuge during disasters and the work of Save the Children," said Nichols.
Nichols said that the connection between the two organizations goes even further. Save the Children worked in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina to provide furniture, materials or small grants to help 17 child care centers in New Orleans reopen or stay open, serving 3,400 children in total.
Save the Children's efforts in Haiti have provided lifesaving food, water, shelter and medical supplies in the aftermath of the earthquakes. The agency also has set up Child Friendly Spaces in shelters and camps designed to protect children as they recover from the suffering they endured and witnessed.
More recently, Save the Children accepted the United Nations' request to coordinate efforts to reunite separated children with their families. The organization deployed child protection teams to camps, shelters and communities in the earthquake zone to ensure the safety of children and to identify, register and to assess the needs of children without parental care.
In addition, the humanitarian agency recently began work to provide classroom tents and supplies so that children in quake-affected areas can return to school.
Save the Children has assisted children and families in Haiti for more than 30 years.