Kids 'R' Kids strives to bring Haitian orphans to United States

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett-based Kids 'R' Kids wants to bring babies home from earthquake-damaged Haiti.

The Duluth company's corporate jet flew its second trip to Haiti on Tuesday, taking doctors and medical supplies to help people injured in the devastating quake earlier this month.

Despite the second disappointment of not bringing back orphans scheduled for adoption in the United States, organizers said they aren't giving up on helping. The children have not been cleared to leave.

"Hopefully, we'll get the red tape cleared up and get them out of Haiti soon," said Dan Lynch, a founder of God's Plumline Ministiries who is trying to bring the orphans to their adoptive parents.

The flights were organized after Kids 'R' Kids International owner Pat Vinson overheard a conversation between doctors at Johns Creek Baptist Church, said Nancy Freeman, who works at the corporate headquarters.

"Pat said he's been so blessed he wants to help others," Freeman said.

The supplies came from Kids 'R' Kids locations, doctors offices and other donors, and Vinson offered to use the company jet, which is based at the Gwinnett County Airport.

Rashid Khan, the company's pilot who also operates two Kids 'R' Kids franchises in Norcross, said parents of his students brought the supplies to help in any way they can.

"You can see the devastation," Khan said, returning Tuesday night, 10 hours after the mission began. Khan said his 7-year-old son Amir told him not to go to the country "with the big crack in the ground" before the first trip Friday, but after learning that kids were hurt, he gave his father a bag with an apple and water to deliver Tuesday.

"They are very proud," to be helping, he said of the kids at his schools.

While Tuesday's flight contained emergency responders both going to and from Haiti, another passenger was one of the orphan's adoptive father, who caught the plane during a stop in Florida and plans to stay until he can bring his son home.

"We are deeply praying things will get lifted," Lynch said of current restrictions.

Freeman said the group's mission is not complete, and they do not intend to give up.

"We're going to try to do as many of these (flights) as we can," she said.