SPRINGFIELD, IL - State Senator Kwame Raoul spoke today alongside the Haitian Relief Network, a group of individuals and organizations in Chicago that have worked to bring relief to Haiti since an earthquake devastated that nation two years ago. Senator Raoul, International Child Care, Robert Gallo of Power Construction Company, and President and CEO Patrick Magoon of Children・s Memorial Hospital gathered to recognize the tremendous efforts of the international community while calling attention to ongoing needs in Haiti.
Assembling soon after the disaster, the Chicago-based coalition immediately began assessing and meeting the needs of Haitian people. Its initiatives include rebuilding Grace Children's Hospital. Senator Raoul, who was born in Chicago to Haitian immigrants and still has family in Haiti, accompanied seven supporters of the effort on a trip to the island nation last February.
The group, which included representatives of International Child Care, Children's Memorial Hospital, Power Construction, and Anderson Mikos Architects, brought 600 pounds of donated medical supplies for the hospital and clinic to use once the rebuilding project is complete.
"As we mark the two-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, people need to be reminded that it will take a whole lot longer for the country to recover fully," Senator Raoul said. "At the same time, people also need to be reminded of the amazing response from the rest of the world and particularly from Chicagoans."
Two years after the quake, over half a million Haitians still live in tents, according to UNICEF.
But rebuilding efforts have given Haiti hope. "With the great work these organizations and Senator Raoul are doing, they have ensured a pathway for Grace Children's Hospital not just to rebuild, but to rebuild better," said Brenda Asare of International Child Care. Upon completion, the hospital will have the operational capacity to serve a growing number of children and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week - something it could not do before the earthquake.
"The only way we are able to do this work is through the overwhelming support of the Chicago community and leaders like Senator Raoul," said Ms. Asare. "Many hands make the load lighter."
Years served: 2004 - Present
Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Labor and Commerce; Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Public Pensions & State Investments (Co-Chairperson); Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance (Sub-Chairperson); Conference Committee on SB1 (Chairperson).
Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; married (wife, Kali), has two children.