Christian Academy of Knoxville collects supplies for Haiti

Christian Academy of Knoxville collects supplies for Haitian orphans

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By WHITNEY HOLMES
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A destroyed orphanage in Haiti 40 miles outside Port-au-Prince was dear to the hearts of students at Christian Academy of Knoxville, so they're taking donations.

Partnered with non-profit One Vision International, the students have been donating money provide clothing, food and shelter for the 125 orphans.

When disaster hit Tuesday, everyone worried.

"I just immediately started thinking, "What about the kids and the orphanage? Are they all okay?' It took a while to find out about them," says Rachel Helton.

She started the fundraising drive for Haiti this school year and visited the orphanage in November.

Helton showed 6 News pictures of the orphanage after the quake. The roof and walls crumbled and the building was reduced to rubble.

Miraculously, only one child was hurt.

"We found out the orphanage was destroyed and that broke my heart knowing that all those babies and the kids were going to have to sleep on the streets," Helton says.

One Vision International's Carrie Fritts says life was tough in Haiti before the earthquake and now, it's unimaginable.

"I think it's hard for any American to really understand the existing conditions on a normal day. It's extreme poverty," Fritts says.

Before the quake, it took about an hour-and-a-half to drive to the orphanage from Port-au-Prince. After the quake, it took five hours, making it difficult to get supplies there.

Since the earthquake, the kids have stepped up their support by collecting money, along with basic supplies such as Ziploc baggies, eye drops and bandages.

The first shipment will go out Tuesday, but the kids will continue to collect supplies for as long as the orphanage needs help.

"When the earthquake happened, we have been getting them Band-Aids and medicine to help them."

One Vision International hopes to collect enough money to build another orphanage so the children don't have to be homeless, yet again.

If you'd like to donate, you can drop supplies off at Christian Academy of Knoxville at 529 Academy Way and other locations. For a list of drop-off sites and needed supplies, go to www.onevisionintl.org.

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