Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on Jan. 12, the ground started shaking for more than a minute in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on Jan. 12, the ground started shaking for more than a minute in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Rick Alfred and a group of 10 church volunteers were in a Haitian hotel getting pop and water after a hot day of handing out bread and peanut butter to hungry people in the mountains when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck.

"The first 10 seconds, you're like what in the world is going on? And then it's like, oh my God, run," Alfred said last week from the Potter's House Church, where he was loading up a truck of donated supplies to send to Haiti. "Glass was breaking, people were screaming, everybody's running. You had to spread your feet and hands out to keep your balance."

Alfred is president of Destiny Village, a nonprofit organization that runs orphanages in Haiti and India. He said he has seen the devastation of hurricanes and tsunamis before, but nothing like this.

"(Haiti) had made drastic improvements in the last two years. They had taken a couple steps forward, unfortunately, now they've taken 10 steps backwards."

Ross DiGiorgio said his wife, Patti, and their daughter, Maria Charles, were working at the Destiny Village orphanage in Pierre Payan, 45 miles north of the capital Port-au-Prince, when the quake hit.

"Maria told me things came off the walls," DiGiorgio said. "She didn't know what was going on, but my wife came in to her and said, 'Let's grab the baby and get outside.' Then they felt the aftershocks, tremors (last) week. Again, they felt their buildings shaking, and clothes swayed back and forth in the closet, but it was less time - about 30 seconds."

Two weeks after the quake, 150,000 people are estimated to have died and a million of the 8-million Haitians are homeless.

DiGiorgio, president of Ross Realtors on Cemetery Road, helped send off a diesel truck packed with donated food, medical supplies, clothes and even a refrigerator to West Palm Beach, Fla. The truck was driven by his office manager, Michelle Kennedy, and her 81-year-old father.

"They left at 5:50 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 23) and arrived at 2:20 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 24)," DiGiorgio said. The truck is on the dock, and will be loaded onto a ship called the Monarch Queen on Saturday. The ship is expected to arrive in the port of Saint-Marc in the middle of February.

"Normally, it's chaotic in Haiti anyhow. It'll probably be a little crazy there now," DiGiorgio said. "Typically, (the orphanage) gets power from the power company once a week, at best. We have big generators. Before the earthquake, it was nothing to have a hundred people in line at the banks."

Alfred, who's been to Haiti 60 times, said, "What's changed most dramatically for us is everything we did before is gone. The place where we bought our groceries, the place we ate lunch at, the hotels in Port-au-Prince are gone."

DiGiorgio said the orphanage has about 30 children, ages 5 to 18, and plans are to take in 100 children.

"In Haiti, the parents don't abandon the kids - some of these kids, the parents died. Other parents bring them to us because they know if they do not get them into an orphanage, the children will die."

The unemployment level was 80-percent in Haiti before the quake struck, DiGiorgio said.

"These are not lazy people. The guys that are 25-30 sit along the sides of the roads because there's nothing to do. But if I start unloading gravel from the back of my pickup truck because I'm filling a pothole, they are going to pull that shovel out of my hands - they want to do it," he said. "They're an ambitious people. They've not had the technology we have in America. They can repair things incredibly well. They're a giving people. They just need hope."

"It's a land of contrasts," Alfred said. "You'll see the beauty of the Caribbean, the splendor of the mountains, and then turn around and see a child who hasn't had anything to eat in three days.

We've endured hurricanes and political unrest. We've had friends get kidnapped. Our guard's been shot. We've been held at gunpoint and robbed while in Haiti. There's such a difference between what it could be and what it is."

He said a missionary friend who's been in Haiti more than 30 years told him after the earthquake, "Finally, the world will see what we've seen for years, the poverty and devastation."

Alfred encouraged people to visit www.destinyvillage.com and to continue donating supplies, food, new and gently used clothing.

"A ton of people in the last few days have asked about going to Haiti (to help), (and) who want to adopt children."