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New Canaan Eagle Scout wants to 'Give a Sheet for Haiti’

Published 11:53 am, Friday, February 1, 2013
  • New Canaan High School senior Bobby Erickson is collecting bed sheets for earthquake victims in Haiti as his Eagle Scout project. Erickson is shown with Dr. Thomas Flynn, who is helping sponsor the project. Photo: Contributed Photo
    New Canaan High School senior Bobby Erickson is collecting bed sheets for earthquake victims in Haiti as his Eagle Scout project. Erickson is shown with Dr. Thomas Flynn, who is helping sponsor the project. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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When it came time to decide on an Eagle Scout project for Troop 70, New Canaan High School senior Bobby Erickson wanted to look beyond his community.

"I wanted to do something to help those less fortunate in another part of the world," Erickson said.

On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake hit the poverty-stricken island of Haiti. "It had a real impact on me," said Erickson, adding that in some ways, Haiti has been forgotten as the world has turned its attention to other natural disasters.

So he decided to ask people to "Give a Sheet for Haiti."

After several conversations with retired pediatrician Thomas Flynn, who had been working with the CRUDEM Foundation, which governs and privately funds Hôpital Sacre Coeur, a private hospital in the north of Haiti, it became clear that collecting new, twin white sheets would be the best way to have an impact on the ongoing crisis facing the people of Haiti.

Erickson hopes to collect 1,000 sheets for the hospital during his month-long drive. Collection points are New Canaan High School, the lobby of St. Aloysius Church, St. Mark's Church and 52 Old Studio Road from through Feb. 14.

"I was fortunate that my neighbor Dr. Flynn had already started such great work in Haiti and knew the needs of the people," Erickson said.

The hospital, in the northern town of Milot, has provided uninterrupted service for more than 25 years. While the earthquake reduced much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, to rubble, the Hôpital Sacre Coeur was one of the few in the country not damaged by the earthquake.

More than 1,000 victims -- many needing emergency amputations -- were transported there by helicopter after the quake.

The 70-bed hospital added another 400 beds by taking over a school following the earthquake. It also accommodated 1,500 volunteers from the United States. Flynn coordinated tent hospitals, non-government organizations and volunteers in Milot. In February 2011, he made a nine-day trip to the hospital to work with earthquake victims.

For information, call Erickson at 203-801-8066 or email bobbyerickson@gmail.com.