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Local volunteers work to rebuild Haiti

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Two years after the devastation in Haiti--a nation that was already in desperate times--the Caribbean country is slowly but surely piecing itself back together.

The global response has been enormous from big-name non-profits to groups with just a dozen people. One D.C.-based group spent a week in the sun to lend a helping hand.

"Here in the States, kids get perfect cars. But in Haiti, they have to build their own cars," said Nicole Woo, a team leader with Volunteers in Mission, Foundry United Methodist Church. "They lost everything in the earthquake and that's very moving. Th people of Mellier where we were didn't have much to begin with."

Woo and eight others from Foundry United Methodist spent a week doing what they could to help rebuild. It was Woo's second trip to Mellier, Haiti, but she said the devastation still touches her.

Two years after the earthquake displaced 1.5 million Haitians, the impoverished nation still struggles to recover.

"At least from my perspective, the progress has sped up from year one to year two and hopefully it will keep speeding up," Woo said. "One thing we heard from the people there is that having these foreign teams come in gives them hope."

For volunteer Mark Schoeff Jr., it was his first time visiting the nation.

"The little kids are buoyant, like little kids anywhere. But then the teenagers are more contained and maybe distant," Schoeff said.

Some estimates say it will take $500 million just to lift the 135,000 people that are living in tents. Schoeff what it will take to reverse the damage.

"It almost feels like a drop in the bucket in terms of what needs to be done there. So it was a sobering experience and one that will stick with me for a long time," Schoeff said.

Woo says for a nation that has lost everything, recovery comes from even small gestures by those who haven't forgotten.

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