Omaha couple helps mission donate backpacks and school supplies to children in Haiti


OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A couple from Omaha returned this morning from a trip to help school children in a poor country. But it came a scary mission shortly after arriving in Haiti.

“They get their backpacks, school supplies and books,” Pam Burkland said.

Working to improve the lives of children in Haiti, Pam and Brad Burkland never imagine putting their own lives in danger.

“You can see the big cracks in the walls,” Brad Burkland said.

Beginning with the taxi ride from the airport unscathed, the Burklands drove near the epicenter where they and five other volunteers had a mission to complete.

“And I realize I’m looking around and I see all the other cars are shaking like ours. And I see the billboards shaking and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a tremor. earth,’” Brad said.

Distribution of backpacks and school supplies to 2,600 Haitian children.

“With all the devastation around them and what they see, I mean, it gives them hope. A reason to hope. A reason to keep going, knowing that school is going to keep going,” Pam said.

The weakened mission building was declared unsafe, so like their hosts, the Burklands slept outside. After a successful 10-day mission to Haiti, the Burklands are happy to be home because of the little things, like air conditioning and a cold drink.

“It’s ice in a glass you miss,” Brad said.

They say their temporary hardships don’t compare to the harsh lives of Haitians in rural areas, especially in the days following the earthquake.

“They are happy to get anything. Even though it’s not new shoes for them, they’re brand new, so they’re glad to have a pair of shoes because a lot of them don’t,” Pam said.

Tokens of appreciation that will remind Burklands of the smiles of children who received a backpack full of hope in a devastated country.

This is the fourth year that the Omaha couple has taken part in Mission Haiti. All backpacks, school supplies and shoes for children are donated.

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