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Indiana attorneys help Haiti

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Attorneys around Indiana with connections to Haiti are helping with that country's relief efforts following an earthquake that registered as a magnitude 7 that destroyed countless buildings and injured and killed still unknown numbers of people in an already impoverished country.

Christopher Stevenson of Wilson Kehoe & Winingham in Indianapolis traveled to LaMare, Haiti, in March 2009 with other members of Evangelical Covenant Church of Lafayette. That trip was affiliated with Covenant World Relief, which his firm has chosen to support. An Indiana Lawyer article, "Attorneys are on a mission," included Stevenson's experience on that trip.

"Covenant is currently using funds to provide emergency relief kits that will be distributed through World Relief International. The kits include food, water, and blankets," Stevenson said via e-mail.

While the village he visited was not hit as hard by the earthquake as other parts of the country, he said he had contact with many people in Port-au-Prince and spent some time there when he was visiting.

To support Covenant World Relief, Wilson Kehoe & Winingham will donate $25 per employee, plus whatever employees decide to give.

Another attorney who has recently been to Haiti, Jeffrey J. Newell of Ball Eggleston in Lafayette, has been working on a network of Catholic churches with sister churches in Haiti.

A week before the earthquake, Newell had returned to Indiana from his 12th trip to St. Joseph Church of Pendus, about 120 miles from Port-au-Prince and about 10 miles northwest from Gros Morne. He was among about a dozen others with experience in Haiti who realized it would be better to have one large organization than about 60 individual churches figuring out what to do.

Newell helped start Indiana Haiti Earthquake Relief Organization, or Indiana HERO, to organize donation drives for money, supplies, and to help coordinate medical teams who will travel to Haiti when it is possible.

More information about earthquake relief is available on the Web site for Newell's church.

The Law Office of Bryan K. Bullock in Merrillville has supported relief efforts in conjunction with the Salvation Army. That firm is soliciting donations of food, water, clothing, and toiletries to send to Haiti.

Bryan Bullock said via e-mail. "I will accept donations until Feb. 14, 2010. As you know, time is of the essence. Please participate in this effort. I cannot accept monetary donations, but I encourage each of you to make donations to the International Red Cross and World Vision."

While Bullock said he's never been to Haiti, he's had an interest in the country for a long time and sees the need to help. He also helped solicit donations for other natural disasters in Haiti, such as a 2005 hurricane.

Contributions can be made to the law office, 7863 Broadway, Suite 222, Merrillville, IN 46410. The Salvation Army will coordinate deliveries of the items. For more information, contact the law firm at (219) 472-1546.

A more in-depth look at what Indiana attorneys are doing for Haiti will appear in the Feb. 3-16, 2010, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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