Filmmakers Kevin and Bobby Downes, brothers who founded Downes Brothers Entertainment and ChristianCinema.com, along with film investor and executive producer Chris Morrow helped orchestrate a rescue operation that is now confirmed to be bringing home 80 Haitian orphans from the Petionville, Haiti, orphanage “God’s Littlest Angels” and uniting them with American families.
Kevin Downes and his wife Catherine have been in the process for 3 years to adopt one of the children, Benicio. The passion of Morrow and the Downes brothers to save Ben set in motion a rescue operation which began just after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12. Soon after, this team realized there were hundreds of other families in this same circumstance so they quickly added to their goals the hope of saving as many orphans as possible.
What has now been coined the “HAITI 80” is the largest group of orphans coming to the U.S. from Haiti, after one of the most devastating natural disasters in the Western hemisphere to date.
When the situation did not look promising for the Haitian orphans, Morrow and the Downes Brothers, with only their iPhones, MacBook Pros, the clothes on their back, and a strong sense God was guiding them to go, caught the first redeye flight to Miami on Tuesday night to help execute this rescue operation. By the time they landed, 80 Humanitarian Parole Visas were approved and they quickly went to work attempting to orchestrate transport into Haiti so they could help bring these children to American soil. Hours later, families from across the country were making flight arrangements to Miami even though no exact landing location had been given.
This team of Morrow and the Downes Brothers again stayed up through the night keeping in constant communication with their contacts in Haiti and the U.S. until eventually all details were confirmed. The kids and families will meet at the Miami International Airport where the plane is expected to land at 9:45pm Thursday, January 21, 2010.
In an unimaginable situation of art imitating life, the Downes Brothers latest movie, “Like Dandelion Dust”, which Morrow Executive Produced, focuses on the central issue of adoption and the sacrificial love of parents. One of the key struggles within the film is how far a family will go to save the life of a child, even if it means putting their own lives at stake.
The fact that “Like Dandelion Dust” includes a scene in Haiti where a Haitian orphanage plays an important role in the climax of the story and adoptive parents putting their lives on the line can only be explained as preparation for this real life challenge, according to the Downes Brothers and Mr. Morrow. “Like Dandelion Dust” stars Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, and Kate Levering, and is scheduled to open in theaters this fall.
Special thanks should be given to Bethany Christian Services and God’s Littlest Angels Haiti for their vital role in caring for these children and forever changing the lives of these “little angels.” Thousands of people were involved in this effort through their support.
Photo: Benicio, courtesy of ChristianCinema