Local Woman Longs To Help Family In Haiti
MILWAUKEE - Jeanne Jean-Philippe's living room is covered with snapshots of her family. Brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews are all smiling in warm, impoverished Haiti. She sorts through the photos longingly. Now, that poverty pales in comparison to a landscape flattened by an earthquake.
"I just wish I could give them a place to sleep," she says as she looks at the photos. "I just wish I could be there for them."
Jeanne knows her family homestead near Port Au Prince collapsed in the earthquake, crushing her 3-year-old nephew and his grandmother. She longs to comfort her sister.
"The worst thing that could happen to me is to lose one of my kids," she says with a tearful shake of the head. "Knowing that my sister is going through this and not being able to help her and talk to her and share her pain…"
"I was blessed just to have her around me," she says of her sister. "Now, it's not like her not to call, because she's my connection. Every time I need some news from Haiti, that's who I go to."
She knows where the rest of the family is. They are all living on the street.
"I have a big house where I can help them," she says, beginning to sob. "I have food. I have everything except them, I don't have."