Club collects crutches, bandages for Haitians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2010

For a week, members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Vicksburg High School have been holding a collection drive called “A Hundred for Haiti” to gather crutches and bandages to send to earthquake-devastated areas of the island nation.

“This is the biggest project we’ve done so far,” said senior and FCA member Jasmine Stevens. So far, the students have collected 27 sets of crutches and 90 bandages.

The project, spearheaded by the Rev. Manney Murphy, FCA adviser, was the product of a conversation between Murphy and Dr. Daniel Edney, who returned from Haiti nearly one month ago after leading a medical missionary team from Vicksburg there to help with recovery efforts.

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“The world has watched the tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti,” said Murphy, also an associate pastor for Gospel Temple M.B. Church. “When it’s current, everyone is involved. But now it’s back-page news. What it melts down to is the simplicity of how our students can help. This was a simple effort where no money was spent.”

“Dr. Edney talked to us and told us how hurt people are (in Haiti),” said Jasmine. “We wanted to help.”

“I’m so proud,” said Edney, a primary care physician at Vicksburg Medical Associates. “The response from our community has been overwhelming.”

Edney, who is the medical director for Mississippi Baptist Disaster Response, and a team of 15 medical professionals are gearing up for a second mission. They will travel Saturday, this time landing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city, now that the city’s airport is open for commercial traffic.

They will be taking with them the collected crutches and bandages, as well as other items such as orthopedic supplies and vaccines purchased with donations.

“When we were down there the first time, we didn’t have the ability to take crutches and I desperately needed them,” Edney said. “We have the room…this time.”

He said the group will work around the outskirts of Port-au-Prince during their one-week stay.

In addition to the collection drive, pharmacist and co-owner of Helping Hand Family Pharmacy Angela Stewart has supported the team. “She’s helped us acquire our supplies by pulling our medicines,” Edney said.

Donations of crutches and bandages were also accepted at Helping Hand on U.S. 61 North.

“This was way more than I thought we would get,” said pharmacy co-owner and missionary Michael Jones.

Jones, who will be traveling with Edney’s team Saturday, said his pharmacy has collected about 50 sets of crutches. “The crutches will be used for a long time in Haiti,” he said. “It’s a huge ordeal.”

In addition to Jones, the traveling team from Vicksburg includes Edney’s son, Daniel Edney II, retired physican Dr. Joe Ross, River Region Medical Center surgeon Dr. Trey Brookshire, nurse Kathy Ellis, vaccine coordinator Jackie Brewer, clinic lab technician Hester Pitts and support coordinator David Baldwin.

Crutches and bandages will still be accepted after the team leaves for the mission.

In addition to FCA’s effort, fifth- and sixth-graders at Vicksburg Intermediate School held a dance and raised $1,082, Warren Central Junior High student council members raised $400 to buy essentials to be assembled into care packages sponsored by members of Hawkins United Methodist Church and South Park Elementary students collected canned goods and water bottles and toiletry items.

Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at