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After Haiti earthquake, US kids launch their own aid efforts

US kids are launching fundraisers, holding bake sales, and emptying their own piggy banks to help those affected by the Haiti earthquake.

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US Airborne soldiers walk through a makeshift camp at a golf course in Port-au-Prince on Sunday.

Marco Dormino/UN/MINUSTAH/Reuters

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When Hannah Lucas first saw images from Haiti after the earthquake hit, she sobbed.

Then, the 8-year-old said, “Mommy, we need to do something. I need to do something,” remembers her mother, Robin Lucas.

Americans have responded faster to the disaster in Haiti than they have to previous crises, and many of those contributing – by launching fundraisers, holding bake sales, or emptying their own piggy banks – are children.

And, like Hannah, some are learning that helping can also help them feel less powerless in the face of such devastation.

“Kids are hearing that something is going on, that there is a problem somewhere, and kids can start feeling very helpless, particularly young children,” says Cynthia Langtiw, a psychotherapist at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology who specializes in issues of children and trauma. “Even just to give a quarter at school or to find a pair of socks they want to donate can be so empowering.”

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