It’s been three months since a cataclysmic 7.0 earthquake leveled the island of Haiti but for one Stevensville woman and her daughter, the Haiti crisis remains urgent. Their continuing passion seeks to support the quakes most helpless victims, children.
While Roxie Marx and her 17-year-old daughter, Jordan, have participated in various drives, volunteered at a food pantry, delivered holiday gifts to children who have an incarcerated parent and served dinners for altruistic causes, the mother-daughter duo decided to take a leap of faith by initiating the “Haiti’s Children” campaign. By collecting stuffed animals, pacifiers and teething rings, their goal is to offer a small token of comfort for a multitude ofHaiti’s orphaned, injured and displaced children.
While news cameras repeatedly panned a solemn landscape of rubble and death, Roxie and Jordan were inspired by how the survivor’s human spirit refused to crumble. “It was the haunting images of child survivors, hundreds of thousands left all alone, that moved us to start this drive,” says Roxie. “I was already aware that a stuffed animal can be a surrogate for security, and couldn’t help but think of a particular stuffed, pink elephant that never left my daughter’s side when she was younger.”
“To this day, that little elephant sits on Jordan’s bed,” she adds.
The affirmation came when USA Today ran an article quoting Columbia University’s Irwin Redlener as saying, “I think we’ll be facing one of the most horrific disasters for children in memory.” Few events could compare to the “extraordinary loss of life and the potential for such psychological harm to children.” Furthermore, while dedicated workers struggle to provide life-sustaining food, water and shelter, providing a nurturing environment for so many desperate children is impossible. There are neither enough arms to hold nor voices to reassure these young victims as they navigate thisunimaginable journey of survival.
Word spread almost immediately with donations pouring in. While Haiti’s Children may be a joint effort between Roxie and her daughter, she applauds those who contributed to the drive’s success. Bob’s Trash, formerly owned by Seth Janssen and Ian Djuric, donated receptacles to serve as drop bins and Island Print Shop’s Brooke Dyer and Kenzie Stodd contributed signage for the bins. She also acknowledges Today’s Yesterdays, owned by Margaret Wallup and Lettie Weldon, along with Island Alliance Church, Kent Island United Methodist Church, the Kent Island K-Mart (who also donated pacifiers and teething rings) and Safeway for participating as drop locations.
With stuffed critters overflowing from the Marx’s garage into a neighbor’s garage, the Haiti’s Children drive now focuses on collecting additional, new-only pacifiers and teething rings via drop bins at Safeway and K-mart. “We can’t forget the infants and toddlers, for whom a pacifier or teething toy would offer enormous appeasement,” explains Roxie.
The final challenge is getting collected items into the hands of the Haitian children. “People want to know how we will get it all there,” Roxie says, “but I have absolutely no doubt that we will, and we do have some good leads.”
“My husband always predicted that I would one day start a charity and now, after this experience with Jordan, that is about to become a reality,” she adds. Roxie also credits Jordan’s creative business mentality for setting Collections for a Cause on course to becoming a recognized charitable organization.
When visiting Safeway and K-Mart, be sure to pick up a pacifier or teething ring to drop into the Collections for a Cause donation bin. If you would like to sponsor, or are able to provide resources for international transportation and shipping costs, please call 410-903-2304.