Family relieved loved one survived Haiti quake

January 14, 2010 9:33:32 PM PST
A Houston family is relieved to learn a loved one is alive in Haiti. Their family member is an aid worker, and now her family and friends are planning to help her and others get relief. At this small meeting of local activists, discussions of how to help not just an entire people, but also one of their own. Mawiyah Duperval is from Houston but has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to humanitarian work in Haiti. For the last two days, it's been agony for her sister.

"We didn't know where she was," said sister Gayle Waden.

Relief came Thursday morning.

"I just said, 'Oh my God, oh my God,'" said Waden.

With this text.

"She said, 'Just got communication. Not hurt physically stunned emotionally and traumatized. Don't know where I'm going to sleep or live. My home is heavily damaged. It seems I lost everything,'" read Mawiyah's text.

Now they're trying to come together to support both and her mission. Virginia Grant knows the challenge.

"They're the poorest of the poor," said Grant.

She's worked side by side with Mawiyah in Haiti on a number of humanitarian trips.

"I don't think people here really realize how bad it has been and how devastating it will be," said Grant.

The group will collect money for Haitian American ministries, Mawiyah's passion not even an earthquake can derail.

"This will just resolve her even more I think because it's her mission to be there," Waden said.

The group will collect money and some supplies, but the problem facing many organizations is getting it to Haiti. They said knowing Mawiyah and how passionate she is, she will find a way.