Yahoo! Sports reports that 76ers center Samuel Dalembert is a native of Haiti who still has relatives in that quake-stricken nation. "This had been the most tortured, cruelest day of Dalembert’s life. He wanted to charter a flight to Port-au-Prince, but it wasn’t possible. His family has mostly moved to the United States through the years, but there are still so many relatives, so many friends. He used his platform to tell the story of Haiti, and he did an endless run of interviews and pleaded for support. In something of a daze, Dalembert played in the Sixers’ 93-92 loss to the New York Knicks and delivered 12 points and 21 rebounds. The game had been over an hour now, and Dalembert had slipped on an “NBA Cares” gold shirt to tape a public service announcement in a side room of the Wachovia Center. When tragedy hits, the NBA is good this way. It had Yao Ming(notes) tape a message when an earthquake hit China, and now the league wanted Dalembert to do it for Haiti. Within hours, the PSA will play everywhere. It will reach the corners of the globe, and in a lot of places, for a lot of people, Sam Dalembert will be the face, the voice, of his anguished, suffering people. Hundreds of thousands could be dead in Haiti, and millions more will need help for sheer survival."
So far, HPP’s call for aid has attracted a surge of eager donors, volunteers and NBC 10 cameras. However, local activists fear that public complacency will set in once the enthusiasm wears off.
Jimaní became the back door route in and out of Haiti for thousands of people making their exodus, and thousands of others trying to get in. I was one of those trying to get in with a group from Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.