FORT MYERS, Fla. - Four years ago Sunday, a catastrophic earthquake shook Haiti's capital city. The magnitude 7 quake toppled thousands of buildings in Port-au-Prince and officials say more than 300,000 people died.
In the aftermath, a million and a half people were forced to live in tent camps as people from around the world worked to rebuild the deeply poor nation.
Sunday, while many Haitians remember loved ones lost, one local organization was honored at the second annual Real Awards in Laguna Nigel, California for working tirelessly to help in Haiti's recovery. Wink News spoke to local activists who say while progress has been made, there is still work to be done.
Hope for Haiti's Tiffany Kuehner still remembers the exact time the earth shook.
"At 5:53 a.m. on January 12th we had one of the worst earthquakes and natural disasters that we've ever seen," she said.
Now four years later she says it's an emotional day but insists there is still a lot to celebrate.
"My heart truly is overjoyed with the tremendous support we have received from Southwest Florida," she said.
Sunday night, one of Hope for Haiti's members, Dr. Elmide Nazaire was recognised at a special ceremony.
"We're here in Los Angeles we found out late last week that she was the awardee," she said.
Nazaire is Hope for Haiti's Infirmary Director. She is Haitian and the first honoree from outside the U.S.
"I'm so happy. And I'm so proud. It's a great opportunity to be here and to receive this Real Award,"she said.
Former President Bill Clinton, the onetime UN Special Envoy to Haiti, introduced the doctor who has spent years improving the lives of Haitians by giving her people better access to health care.
"I believe that where there is help there is life. And where there is life there is hope," Nazaire stated.
Cape Coral Pastor Chad Woolf agrees.
He just returned from another trip to Haiti and says establishing Haitian-led education and health care initiatives is the only way to ensure long-term change.
"As a church we are just trying to focus on how we can help Haitian organizations meet the need and take control of their situation," Woolf said.
For more information on how you can help Haiti: