MINNEAPOLIS, MN —On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake devastated the country of Haiti. One year later, a group of Minnesotans is asking churches, schools, universities, and city halls across the state to toll their bells in unison on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake—January 12, 2011, at 3:53 PM CST—for 35 seconds, the duration of the Haiti quake.
“In just 35 seconds, thousands of people in Haiti lost everything,” said Jacqueline Regis, a Haitian-American attorney and author who is also a member of the group organizing the “Bells for Haiti” effort. “Through Bells for Haiti, we want to bring people together a year after the quake to honor those who lost their lives, and to recognize the millions of people who still struggle to find hope in a sea of despair. We also want to recognize people from all across Minnesota who stepped forward to help the people of Haiti.”
The earthquake took the lives of 300,000 people and left more than 1.3 million people homeless. A hurricane and cholera outbreak have also worsened the situation.
At the same time, thousands of Minnesotans—concerned parents, doctors, school children, architects, teachers, nurses, and many more—stepped forward to help. Some are traveling to Haiti through Minnesota-based organizations working on the ground in Haiti, while others are still raising funds in their own way to support Haitians as they struggle to rebuild.
“We want Bells for Haiti to be a reminder—that we are stronger together than we are alone,” added Regis. “We want to tell the world that we remember… and will not forget.”