Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 15, 2010

Haitian earthquake effect felt on the Plateau

When a devastating earthquake struck the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere Tuesday, the effect was worldwide and reached several on the Cumberland Plateau who have in the past been involved in a host of projects.

Even as the damage and toll on life is being assessed, some are volunteering donations of cash and some are offering to travel to Haiti to participate in the relief effort.

"We have already had this morning four people volunteer to go if we are deployed," Cumberland County American Red Cross chapter Director Patricia Fields said. "Two are nurses and two are just people who have previously spent time in that Caribbean country. If they call us, we will have members of our chapter who will be ready to go."

For former Crossville resident Steve Goodwin, news of the catastrophe was especially harsh to receive since he had spent much of his professional life working with an organization dedicated toward improving conditions in Haiti.

Goodwin, the son of retired Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officer Joe and Mrs. Goodwin of Dorton Rd., is a board of director member of Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (ORE).

Over the years he has been involved in projects ranging from the capping of mountain springs and installation of pipelines that delivered that fresh water to community fountains in villages below, providing clean drinking water, to research improving crop produce and the development of higher producing fruit plants and trees.

Goodwin has curtailed his work in Haiti in recent years so that he can be closer to his retired parents who still live in Crossville. He was contacted Tuesday night en route to Auburn from his home in West Point, GA, to meet with a friend and native born Haitian whose American parents were missionaries in Haiti for decades.

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