"Angel in A Hummer" Back From Haiti - NBC Bay Area

"Angel in A Hummer" Back From Haiti

Rena Salomon now taking care of 39 orphans



    "Angel in A Hummer" Back From Haiti
    Rena Salomon, the "Angel in a Hummer," is back from Haiti.

    Rena Salomon, known as "The Angel in a Hummer" for her volunteer work after Katrina in New Orleans, returned to the South Bay from Haiti Tuesday night, her heart aching.

    She'd gone to Haiti last week, looking to rescue the children of Simon's Help Center for Destitute Children.  Salomon had learned that only 12 of the 35 children at the center survived last month's earthquake.

    She found the survivors living on a hilltop.

    "They were under tents that were made of sheets and dehydrated, starving, lying on the ground with no energy," said Salomon from her Saratoga Avenue restaurant, Maxim's.

    Salomon immediately hired a lawyer, and signed a six-month lease on a huge home in Port-Au-Prince, the badly damaged Haitian capital. This was to become the new home of Simon's Center.

    "We provided water, food, a generator with power so we could power up the facility," said Salomon.

    Salomon fed the children mac-n-cheese, and hot dogs, and in no time, she said the children had turned into kids again.

    'After a day of getting water and food, they started livening up, and [by] Day 2, they're singing," said Salomon.

    Salomon took a team of seven people with her, mostly family and friends.

    The trip cost her $20,000, and she paid for it mostly by using proceeds from her restaurant.

    Her heart still aches from what she'd witnessed, and the kids she left behind.

    "I can't imagine how the children feel every day," said Salomon, as she tearfully looked at photos of her trip. "I can't even look at them, it's just too hard, just knowing I left them there starving".

    Salomon said she's now officially a cofounder of Simon's Center, since her name is on the lease.

    She worries about providing for her 39 children in the long term. 

    Salomon established a nonprofit called Humanitarian Emergency Aid Response Team (HEART) to help pay the Haiti bills. 

     "I just know this is bigger than me," said Salomon. "They need more help."

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