Local musicians aren’t known for being rich, but that didn’t stop many of them from contributing to Haiti relief yesterday.

“I think we’re all wondering what we can do. I personally don’t have any money, but I have some time I can give,” said Christina Martin, one of several musicians who volunteered to play a coffee shop at St. Matthew’s United Church.

The quickly-organized event brought out dozens of people who chipped in to a large basket of bills for Oxfam’s Haiti relief drive.


In the past, St. Matthews had held a coffee shop-style fundraiser for Asian tsunami relief and minister Betsy Hogan figured they could do it again.

“What I discovered is it was really easy to collect people together. Musicians really wanted to be able to do something, the community really wanted some place to go,” Hogan said.

A few emails later and musicians were lining up to volunteer, including Martin, Dave Carroll, Jennifer Wyatt, Pam Mason, Dale and Sarah Letcher, Ryan MacGrath, Lee Park, Erika Kulmis and percussion group Sambo Nova.

“When there’s an event like this, you do it. And if what I can give is a few songs then that’s what I’ll give,” MacGrath said.

The coffee shop was just one extension of an outpouring of local support since Haiti was ravaged by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake last week. Perhaps the most high profile will be Halifax for Haiti, a Feb. 8 concert at the Metro Centre featuring Drum! and other artists.

Earlier in the day, McGrath put out an appeal to the St. Matthews congregation and quickly collected $1,000.

The provincial department of health also announced yesterday it was doing an inventory of medical supplies to potentially send south.

“It’s just part of human nature,” Martin said. “A responsibility to be involved and reach out and do something.”

Ways to give
• The Red Cross: www.redcross.ca
• The Salvation Army: www.salvationarmy.ca
• World Vision Canada: www.worldvision.ca
• UNICEF: www.unicef.org
• Oxfam Canada: www.oxfam.ca
• CARE: www.care.ca
• Save the Children: www.savethechildren.ca
• The Humanitarian Coalition: www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca
• Médecins Sans Frontières: www.msf.ca
• Plan Canada: www.plancanada.ca
• Samaritan’s Purse: www.samaritanspurse.ca

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