Meetinghouse serves as a place for relief

As of Wednesday, Jan. 20, hundreds of Haitians had taken up nearly every available square foot of space on the grounds of the Petion-ville Ward meetinghouse in Port-au-Prince. More than 25 tents were also set up on the paved driveway and outside sports court.

Elder William Kilgore, Caribbean Area medical services director for the Church, and Dr. Jeff Randle, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor from Salt Lake City, stopped by to assess needs and check on a local LDS doctor, physician Gislaine Saint Louis, who had been giving care to her fellow Haitians on the grounds.

Six members of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne arrived at the chapel later in the day in two Humvees and a supply truck. The Army supply truck pulled to the front gate and lined up Haitian men to unload cases of bottled water and boxes of daily rations into the meetinghouse.

One soldier in the 82nd Airborne who assisted at the Petion-ville meetinghouse grounds was Pvt. 1st class Blaine Haney of Gladstone, Ore., one of two LDS members in his unit.

Under the direction of Elder Kilgore and Dr. Randle, six of the most seriously injured people at the Petion-ville building were loaded into a Church-owned SUV. The Army then provided an armed escort through the neighborhood streets before pointing out a French clinic where the injured could be tended.

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