Nashville man gets unexpected call to help Haiti following Hurricane Matthew

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – What Will Knowles will take to Haiti on Thursday is laid out on his couch on Wednesday in South Nashville.

The idea is to fit it all into a backpack because the nine-member team he will join from the relief group called Heart to Heart is expected to be self-sufficient.

He pointed to a sleeping bag, freeze-dried food, a water purifier, and one-set of clothes to wear for a week as just some of the items that he hopes to stuff in one backpack.

Will’s laptop was also nearby as he told News 2 he was “trying to get his bearings” about what he will do in Haiti since he only got the call from the relief group this morning.

A few of the items Will is taking with him. (Photo: WKRN)
A few of the items Will is taking with him. (Photo: WKRN)

“I am trying to figure out as much information as a I can as it comes in,” said Knowles, who is a marketing consultant when he is not helping out the relief group which was started by his uncle in Kansas City.

He describe his role as being “an extra hand” to the medical team from Heart to Heart that has rented a helicopter to go into the hurricane-stricken.

“So they can fly their medical teams in, drop them and then fill that helicopter with as many critically injured people and take them out to hospitals,” added Will.

LIVE: Track Hurricane Matthew 

Knowles said he will be documenting the relief team’s efforts because too often places like Haiti are forgotten when the next disaster comes along.

“The reality is the hurricane is going to hit Florida in a day and a half and everyone is going to forget about the countries in the Caribbean that need your help,” he told News 2 while packing. “And they really wanted to get somebody down there to tell the story of what is going on and back to their donors and their base and know that this crisis is real and catastrophic.”

Evidence of that is coming back for two Middle Tennessee groups who have been praying for the orphans they support in Haiti’s peninsula struck by the hurricane.

The prayers from Mt. Carmel Baptist in Robertson County and Agape to the Nations in Gallatin have been answered in that the they support are safe, but several of the structures the two groups built are said to be heavily damaged.

Those and countless other mission groups with ties to Haiti will soon be needing much more than prayer for the kids they support.