When Brandon Moose of Midland heard the news about the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, he was receiving chemotherapy at a clinic in Charlotte.
The 24-year-old picked up the phone and called Farrell Burton, a volunteer with Project 127-Haiti, a ministry that provides a home for 12 Haitian children.
"Are the kids OK?" Moose asked. "How can I help?"
Burton relayed Moose's message to Project 127-Haiti director Steve Horne of Concord.
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"I said 'You tell Brandon to get healthy and then worry about it,'" Horne said.
Instead, Moose began selling T-shirts to raise money for the Haiti relief effort and asking his doctors to donate medical supplies.
Months later and now cancer-free, Moose and other local volunteers are leaving for Haiti next week to deliver supplies they've collected.
Burton and Horne are members of King's Way Baptist Church in Concord where Project 127-Haiti began about five years ago. The nonprofit is named for the biblical verse James 1:27, which says pure religion is caring for widows and orphans.
Now an independent nonprofit, the organization established an orphanage for 12 children, ages 5-17, in Aquin, Haiti, about 60 miles southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The ministry provides the children a home and education, as well as Christian teachings.
Horne went to Haiti only days after the quake to check on the orphanage. The house was intact and the children were unharmed, but the facility's well was damaged and will have to be replaced at a cost of about $5,000.
Moose went a mission trip to Haiti a year and a half ago, and he helped with projects around the orphanage. He also helped put on a puppet show for the children, who stormed the stage in excitement. They had never seen a puppet show before.
"It opened my eyes to a whole new world," said the former Marine.
So when he learned of the earthquake, he knew he had to help, Moose said.
Watching media coverage of the earthquake's aftermath and hearing of the unsanitary conditions, Moose looked around the cancer clinic where he received chemo treatments for hours at a time after learning that his testicular cancer had spread to his lungs.
"I thought, 'Who am I to complain?'" Moose said. "It's not heroics. It's what the Lord wanted me to do."
He collected gloves, surgical masks and hundreds of syringes. He'll travel with Burton of Harrisburg, who went to Haiti three weeks after the quake.
While Burton was there, he met Michael Brewer, an American who rescues Haitian street children, many of whom have been sold into slavery. Burton recognized Brewer from a documentary he had seen on Brewer's organization, Haitian Street Kids Inc. Burton was shocked to learn that the four houses Brewer rented to shelter 60 children were destroyed and that he has been living with children in Haitian slums. It was a cause close to the hearts of those who work with Project 127-Haiti.
"We know what it's like to operate with very little," Burton said. "We just want to take him a little bit of hope."
When Moose and Burton arrive in Haiti next week, they'll deliver shoes, toys, clothing, medical supplies and more. They're also collecting tents for Brewer.
"We can't help every child," Burton said. "We can't help every situation. But we can do something."