Coast Guard conducts humanitarian mission at Port-Au-Prince orphanage

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 began conducting a series of humanitarian assistance missions at a local orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on Feb. 2, 2010.

The children of orphanages here need more help than ever after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the nation’s capitol on Jan. 12, 2010, killing an estimated more than 100,000 people and causing widespread devastation.

Members of the PSU are in Haiti performing security duties during efforts to restore full shipping capacity at the port, but seeing the extent of suffering and damage caused by the earthquake, the Coast Guardsmen were compelled to do more.

“We’ve just come here to do something to help a little bit and put smiles on these kid’s faces,” said Capt. Steven Baynes, Coast Guard Liaison to the Joint Task Force, Haiti. “This is probably one of the most fulfilling and worth while endeavors I have been on sence being here.”

PSU 307 has been upgrading beds, providing medical care and spending time interacting with the children at the orphanage in addition to their Coast Guard assigned duties. They will be providing generators, repairing plumbing and adding fans to provide indoor ventilation.

“Just the smile on the kids faces when we pulled up was worth while. I mean, its the reason why we are here, to help these children and help these people recover from this horrific event,” said Baynes.

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