'Haiti Harry' heeds his calling - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'Haiti Harry' heeds his calling

Harry Hames shares his story in Bobby's Bama. Harry Hames shares his story in Bobby's Bama.

Mention "Haiti" to Harry Hames and his eyes light up. He can't wait to share a story or an incident that happened during one of his many trips taking Christmas gifts, food or medical supplies to country.

In January of 2010, Haiti was rocked by an earthquake. Harry Hames remembers it well. "In 45 seconds there were 316,000 estimated people killed and one and a half million people left homeless."

Hames joined others to go and evaluate the damage. The poverty, hunger and more changed Hames forever. And little "ironies" began to happen nearly every trip.

He met a retired air force general in Nashville whose wife, ironically, was a school friend of Hames's wife, Georgia. "He said if I could ever help you, let me know. We ended up not having a flight home. We went over and used his name and got on a C - 17, came home."

Orphaned and abandoned children are close to Hames' heart. "And a person gave me a child and I just stood there and wept like a baby. But you know they were doing the right thing for this child."

Another time men were working to repair the walls to an orphanage and their hands were cracked and bleeding. "There were no gloves for them, except for one pair of gloves, they had dish rags. And two weeks later when I returned home, I had an email from a gentleman named Eddie Wallace...said I'm with Sioux Jack industries can you use work gloves in Haiti?"

Probably his greatest story involved meeting the first lady of Haiti.

Hames had extra hospital beds he couldn't get out of port. A woman overheard his plight and knew a local hospital was about to open without beds. She brought the first lady and the first lady brought someone who could help.

"This is my husband, Michael", the lady told Hames. The president said, "I'll take care of it". We had the beds out on Friday, I meant on Wednesday and they put them in the hospital and I attended the opening of the hospital with Mrs. Martelly." Hames calls these "God stories" because you can see divine intervention at each turn.

While the relief effort is technically over, Hames says he will continue to visit Haiti with Medical Supplies, Christmas gifts and more.

Good people doing good works from Bobby's Bama.


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