Hugs for Haiti Sal DeRose,SalesConsultant, for Holman Infiniti Dealer Maple shade, New Jersey recently volunteered to help a cause, "Hugs for Haiti". It was supported by his church to help bring a smile to the boys and girls who lost so much from the January earthquake in Haiti. Read Salâ€™s story. When the earthquake hit Haiti in January, a little girl in my church named Courtney decided to try and collect some stuffed animals for the children living in the tent cities. When it was all said and done, with help from the Community and the Ty Beanie Baby Company, Courtney collected around 5,000 bears. Now the task was getting the bears to Haiti and distributed to the children. When the church asked for volunteers to go to Haiti, I immediately raised my hand and along with Courtneyâ€™s dad, Mike, we planned our trip. We planned on staying in the tent village which was sponsored by Grace International. Grace Village is a tent village with about 25,000homelesspeople. Among them was also a Boys and Girls home with about 125 orphans. We tried to get as much information via the internet to prepare us for the trip, but nothing could have prepared us for what we encountered. When we landed in Port Au Prince Haiti you could see the sheer devastation that the earthquake left in its path. Even seven months later, the rubble still piled in the streets, the make shift homes made out of tents or any other materials that they can get their hands on, and the unforgettable smell coming from all the debris and trash strewn as far as you could see. After a few days of going back and forth with the officials in Customs, we were able to get the stuffed animals out. We scheduled a day to distribute them in the tent city to the boys and girls. When we pulled the truck into Grace Village there were already about 3,000 children lining up to get the only toy that they might have ever had their entire lives. We spent the next three hours passing out the bears and other stuffed animals to the smiling children and their parents in the 105 degree temperature. The look on their faces and the sheer joy they showed let us know that everything we went through to get to that moment was well worth it. Seethe news broadcast. http://www.nbc40.net/news/14191/video If you would like to help the children of Haiti, please visit graceintl.org to donate or to sponsor a child.