Iowans Helping Haitians Affected by Hurricane Matthew

EAGLE GROVE, Iowa – An Eagle Grove nonprofit was in the middle of building orphanages, schools, and birthing centers in Haiti. After Hurricane Matthew, they are trying to save the lives of the people they care for.

Ken DeYoung was flying his Cessna in and out of Haiti for disaster relief after the earthquake of 2010. It was there he met Eddy Constant and 15 orphan girls.

Ken co-founded GoServ Global and helped Eddy build orphanages on the south side of the island; little did they know it would eventually be in the direct path of a category four hurricane. “We had a couple of sleepless nights as we watched the hurricane form. You pray and hope for the best, but you just don’t know” said DeYoung.

After the storm hit DeYoung received a single text message from Eddy back on the island. “’Pray for us’, understanding that that’s all we could do” said DeYoung.

As the storm moved on, Eddy relayed the damage. ‘He said it was so bad he couldn’t recognize where he was, he got lost a couple of times and as he saw people out in the fields looking for their kids, their homes were gone; 90% of the homes were just gone,” said DeYoung.

There was good news all the children and staff were accounted for the Sukup safety homes they built stood firm but the danger remains.

“The urgent thing is food. The crops, the livestock are all gone,” said DeYoung.

Ken’s plan to personally fly in to deliver supplies has been put on hold.

“Even now, about an hour ago, Eddie told me that I can’t come,” DeYoung said. “And that’s too bad, it won’t be safe for us to be there, people are starting to get desperate. I might still defy that and take a load of supplies down tomorrow and just drop and run.”

Ken says he’s working on getting C-130 transport planes to fly in supplies; supplies Iowans have given.

“An Iowa-based grocery chain has offered a lot of help with food and a lumber company out of Ames, so people are starting to step up with supplies and we need more of that. We don’t have time to get supplies on a ship. People are going to die before we get there,” said DeYoung.

Ken says the best way for other Iowans to pitch in is to donate money to be used for food, water, and supplies. You can do that here: