As founder of the deliberately small international aid organization Global Colors, Barton Brooks is a veritable one-man relief group—a philosophy he calls guerrilla aid. While on the ground in Haiti, he reports on an inspirational, improvisational team of other "guerrilla" warriors making a huge impact on the earthquake-ravaged country.
When the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, Nick and Gwenn Mangine (pictured here) grabbed their kids, ran out of their house and immediately went to check on their friends, Danny and Leanne Pye. The Mangines and Pyes had come to Jacmel, Haiti, from North Carolina to create homes for abandoned kids on behalf of the organization Joy in Hope.
But neither couple had ever been involved in disaster relief—they were just working to better the lives of a few underprivileged Haitian children. Now, surrounded by the rubble and wreckage of one of the most devastating earthquakes in human history, they found themselves at the forefront of international efforts to deliver aid and save lives.
I learned about the Mangines through a mutual friend and contacted Gwenn shortly after the earthquake, asking her, "Do you need help with anything?"
Minutes later, there was a message in my in-box: "Yes, come down here."