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February 3, 2010

LKL ICYMI: Families of American detainees in Haiti speak out

Posted: 12:54 PM ET
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January 29, 2010

TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE!

Posted: 08:55 PM ET

We're devoting our entire hour to the heartbreaking story of Haiti's orphans, whose lives - like their fellow Haitians - have been turned upside down. The fear now is that their vulnerability could turn them into targets for exploitation. Actor and activist Sean Penn will join us from Port-au-Prince to talk about these dangers. We'll also tell you how you can help Haiti's orphans.

That's all tonight at 9pmET/6pmPT!

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live


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Filmmaker’s bond to Haiti

Posted: 03:43 PM ET

CEO of Gener8Xion Entertainment on why he's donating 100% of his proceeds from tonight's box office of the new movie, Preacher's Kid, to Haiti relief.

LKL Web Exclusive

By Matthew Crouch, CEO of Gener8Xion Entertainment

I first visited Haiti in 1976 when I was fifteen years old.   My parents, Paul and Jan Crouch, co-founders of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, had just become involved with serving the needs this terribly poverty-stricken country.   Numerous return trips ensued as my family’s love and passion for the Haitian people grew through the years.  I watched my mother spend millions of dollars building a hospital, supporting an orphanage, funding other aid groups working in Haiti.   We didn’t know it when we began, but our work in Haiti would become Trinity Broadcasting’s longest running on going project.    I can recall a very special trip just a few years ago, spent filming a documentary featuring my wife Laurie working along side my mom as they fed and cared for the beautiful Haitian children.  

All this is to say that news of the earthquake struck us particularly deep.  To mention the countless images and memories that overwhelmed us as we looked upon the devastation on TV is to infer that our pain is somehow comparable to what the Haitian people have experienced and this is most definitely not the case.   Yet I know we’ve all been touched by this tragedy as evidenced by the incredible and compassionate response from around the world.

So many times when tragedy strikes as it has in Haiti, our natural response is to question why. Why did this have to happen?  Why did so many people have to die?  Why is there so much ongoing pain and suffering.  Unfortunately, those are answers we rarely get to know, at least in this life.   Of course, that doesn’t seem to stop the endless parade of pundits, prophets and prognosticators continuously chiming in like a flock of vultures encircling their prey.   

Yet as I’ve watched the amazing outpouring of love and support toward the people of Haiti coming in from all over the world, something has begun to crystallize in my mind.   Perhaps the “reasons why” aren’t meant to be discovered by us, but determined by us.   “What are we doing about it?” is a far more fundamental question in the face of trapped and starving people than “Why did it have to happen?”   In fact, the world’s response to this tragedy, their very act of doing something about it on such an enormous scale demonstrates to me that we indeed have the power to create, if not “The” answer, than at least “one” answer as to the question of why.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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January 27, 2010

Posted: 02:20 AM ET
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January 26, 2010

TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE!

Posted: 07:16 PM ET

State of the Union Preview

The White House has already leaked some of the themes President Obama will hit tomorrow night in his State of the Union speech. Is the spending freeze over the next three years a good idea - or too little too late? How will he reach out to middle class Americans? We'll preview the speech tonight with Ben Stein, Penn Jillette, Stephanie Miller, and Tanya Acker. Plus - Tavis Smiley and John Avlon will weigh in with their analysis.

That's all tonight on Larry King Live at 9ET/6PT!

And we want to hear from you:

Do you think President Obama's proposal to freeze non-security federal spending over the next three years is a good idea?

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live • Obama • Politics is King


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Travolta flies personal jet to Haiti

Posted: 12:37 PM ET

By Douglas Hyde, CNN Entertainment Producer

So many stars have done their part for Haiti by raising awareness and funds, but one A-lister is actually taking the controls of a plane and flying into the heart of the disaster area himself – John Travolta.

One of Travolta's reps just confirmed to CNN that the star is personally flying one of his jets to Haiti to help out with relief efforts there.

In addition to relief supplies, Travolta is bringing along his wife Kelly Preston, several doctors and Church of Scientology ministers.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • John Travolta


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January 25, 2010

TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE!

Posted: 07:52 PM ET

Haiti

As search and rescue operations end, the people of Haiti are trying to put their lives back together. Many are suffering from crush injuries that require amputations. We'll hear from Heather Mills - who has a heartfelt appeal based on first-hand experience - and our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta on this growing problem and what can be done to help the amputees.

Reunited

You've read on this blog about Joe and Jill Wilkins, whose adopted son Samuel Chancelet was still in Haiti when the earthquake struck. They have finally reunited with their son and will join Larry tonight to talk about their desperate journey to bring Samuel Chancelet home.

The Economy, Stupid!

Rep. Ron Paul vs. former Labor Secretary Robert Reich square off on whether President Obama is doing enough about the economy. Is the stimulus plan working? Where are the jobs? Is the administration more concerned with bailing out Wall Street than bailing out Main Street?

That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT!

And we want to hear from you:

Is President Obama doing enough to help middle-class Americans?

 

To learn more about the organization Heather Mills discussed on Larry King click here or visit Heather Mills own site.

Filed under: Economy • Haiti Earthquake • Obama


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Seven-year-old boy raises $160,000 for Haiti

Posted: 01:05 PM ET

By Agnes Teh for CNN

London, England - He's no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn't stopped seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from raising more than £100,000 ($161,000) for the Haiti earthquake. Simpson from Fulham, west London had hoped to raise just £500 for UNICEF's earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles)around a local park.

"My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives," said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts. "I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti," he said.

And with that simple call, messages of support flooded the site. "Such a big heart for a young boy, you're a little star!" wrote one supporter. "Well done Charlie. A real celebrity," said another. More donations began pouring in after the story caught the attention of the British media - with many cheering Simpson on towards the £100,000 mark. Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spreading the message. His "Downing Street" Twitter alias said: "Amazed by response to the great fundraising efforts of 7 yr old Charlie Simpson for the people of Haiti."

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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Haiti awash in doctors; nurses in short supply

Posted: 09:23 AM ET

So many doctors are answering Haiti's call for medical aid that the largest hospital in Port-au-Prince has a new problem: organizing and finding good use for them all.

"I think there is a lot of confusion," said Marivittoria Rava, a longtime volunteer with the charity Friends of the Orphans, which runs a children's hospital now caring for some post-operative patients from the general hospital.

Rava said that medical supplies and resources have improved, but the crush of volunteer doctors in Port-au-Prince can complicate treatment in the city while there is great need for help in other places hit by the earthquake.

The general hospital has nine operating rooms, but a near platoon of volunteer surgeons. That leaves many standing by for work, though there are relatively few nurses.

(read more)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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January 24, 2010

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: 'Our prayers had been answered'

Posted: 01:38 AM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet was not harmed in the earthquake, but the Wilkinses had been desperately trying to bring him home - until today. Joe and Jill have documented their journey on the LKL Blog. Joe, Jill, and Samuel Chancelet will be guests on Larry King Live on Monday at 9pmET/6pmPT!

As we sit here, writing this blog update, our son Samuel Chancelet is sleeping on the hotel bed in Miami. Two weeks ago, had someone told us would be in a hotel room, watching our baby, we would have taken a deep breath, sighed and said, “impossible.”

JOE:

It surely has been quite an interesting couple of weeks. I saw a lot of devastation and yet extraordinary things too. God’s Littlest Angels orphanage was a haven in the midst of catastrophe. All of the workers and volunteers are my heroes.

It is unreal that we have Samuel Chancelet with us now (this very second!) and it is amazing to be able to look over and watch him sleep. He is such a happy boy and I love him so much. It was such a long journey to get to Miami. God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) did a wonderful job entertaining the kids and, as Dixie put it, “We made a fun adventure out of it.”

We had some incredible volunteers, along with GLA staff who cared for the kids for over 18 hours. Yes, 18 hours (1.5 hours drive down from GLA to the airport, 5.5 hours waiting at the airport, 2 hours on tarmac, 2 hours in the air and about 7 hours to process the children’s paperwork in customs).

The kids were tired and the adults were exhausted. We stayed in a small immigration room where kids slept, played or were held by staff and volunteers. Taking care of 81 children is no small task. I was exhausted.

I was keeping Jill updated via text messages. It was hard knowing we were in the same area and couldn’t see one another. Since I had left for Haiti, we really had only talked or emailed regarding “business,” as things were moving so fast. I don’t think either one of us had internalized what was taking place.

When the moment finally arrived, I had a feeling of complete relief, like a burden was lifted off of my shoulders. We were finally together. I am not sure I have fully processed this. We have been through so many ups and downs throughout this adoption. I just can’t believe we were finally able to walk away with him in our arms.

JILL:

It was such a roller coaster of emotions for those 18 hours. Joe was able to text me with updates, so I was fed tidbits of information when they started their journey down the mountain from God’s Littlest Angel’s orphanage. We had no idea if the flight was actually going to get out, but were praying all the pieces would come together.

The parents were advised that the plane should land around 9:40pm. Most of us knew the paperwork could take some time, but I think we all wanted to meet each other, as we have shared this journey together for so long. Many of us are a part of internet chat groups and track blogs. I was looking forward to finally meeting them! Under normal circumstances that in itself would have been an incredible day. However, we had so much more to share!

We gathered around at the gate… with nothing but cameras and smiles. I really enjoyed meeting, visiting and sharing the anticipation of the incredible moment that was about to come. But around 11pm (around the time were hoping to hear the plane was landing) I got a text that said they were just taking off from Port-au-Prince. We all took a deep breath and sighed. Some went back to their hotel room, while others slept on the floor at the gate.

As frustrating as it was, we all knew that in the scheme of things, we could wait a few more hours. Joe let me know they were processing files and that it was going very slowly. At around 7am, the parents were taken to a new location, where we waited for 2.5 more hours. When Dixie finally walked in the door at 9:30am the whole room clapped, cheered and gave her the warmest reception (we all have such a deep respect for this woman). She spent time talking about the day, the process and what might be in store.

And then she announced it was time to meet our children!!! I was so emotional – was this really happening? When my name was called, I literally ran out the conference room door, where I saw Joe carrying Samuel Chancelet, along with our friend’s baby, Anri Jacob! I was overjoyed and overwhelmed all at once. The journey to having our own family has been so long for us.

All the pain, hurt and frustration melted away when I embraced both my husband and son, knowing we would get to be together, forever! God had a way of working this out. Everything was orchestrated perfectly, and our prayers had been answered. I am still finding that I need Joe to pinch me on occasion to make sure that I am not dreaming. I cannot wait for what life has in store for us!

PREVIOUS BLOG POSTINGS BY JOE AND JILL WILKINS:

Today is the day!

Making progress

Day 2

A couple's desperate journey

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live


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