Making comforters, relief kits helps students deal with grief
by Gladys Terichow
WINNIPEG, Man.—Each knot is tied with love and compassion as three Grade 12 students from College Louis-Riel put the final touches on comforters that will be shipped by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to Haiti.
“One of my cousins is still missing,” said Myrka Petiote, who moved to Winnipeg from Haiti in 2001 and is grieving the loss of seven relatives and close friends in Haiti.
“I’ve cried for days and days—I don’t know what to do. I have not been sleeping well the last while. Every time the phone rings, everyone stops what they are doing and waits for the news.”
Working on the comforters in the MCC warehouse in Winnipeg is helping Petiote and her classmates Jane Paul and Angelique Dauriac support each other as they deal with the grief of what is happening in Haiti.
“Just knowing that we can do something here in Winnipeg to help people in Haiti makes me feel better,” said Paul who moved to Winnipeg from Haiti in 1997. “My entire family lives in Haiti. I talk to my grandma every Sunday. I want to keep on helping Haiti as much as possible—every little bit helps.”
In addition to donating time to knot comforters, Petiote and Paul, are collecting supplies in their school for MCC relief kits—their goal is to collect supplies for 100 relief kits.
The students heard about MCC’s appeal for heavy comforters and relief kits from Dauriac’s mother, Marie-Christine Dauriac, a teacher at College Louis-Riel.
“I can’t go to Haiti right now but I can help people in Haiti and I can also help my friends who are from Haiti,” said Dauriac, adding she and other students are supporting a variety of activities that raise funds for Haiti.
“People from every country in the world are helping Haiti,” said Petiote. “Everybody wants to help Haiti. Maybe something positive will come out of this. It is bringing people together in the school and in the world.”
MCC has been working in Haiti for more than 50 years and is working alongside Haitian partner organizations and churches in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar response to the earthquake.