DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Several groups across South Florida are working to gather supplies and donations amid the tragic Surfside apartment collapse.
The Shul of Bal Harbour opened its doors to help those affected by the partial collapse. Officials said more than a dozen members of the synagogue are among the missing.
In Doral, members of the Global Empowerment Mission are building care packages for those affected by the tragedy.
Cooling bags will be packed with blankets, personal protective equipment (PPE), a first aid kit, socks, hygiene packets, vitamins, wipes, lotion, toothbrushes and battery chargers.
President and Founder of the Global Empowerment Mission Michael Capponi said recipients will also receive cash cards.
“Yeah, so we put up funds together with Be Strong, our partner, and 100% of the funds raised is turned into Visa gift cards, so starting this afternoon, we’re going to be going to the hotels where they’re staying, meeting directly with residents and giving each resident either $500 or a $1,000 Visa card so they can buy what they need to on top of that.”
He said further, “Then we’re bringing them these boxes with these vital necessities, and then we’re also supplying the Shul of Bal Harbor and the different community centers and the schools in Surfside and things like that with hundreds of these boxes. There’s other people in the community that also are displaced, as you know. They’re scared to be in their apartments right now and so on.”
When asked why they are sending care packages instead of food, Capponi said, “Well, these residents are in hotels right now, so sending food, if you send cans of food for example, or rice and things like that, they may not have a way of doing it, right? Of cooking it and preparing it, so usually, what we’ve learned over the years is that the Visa card is where they can go buy, go to a restaurant, go do what they need to do.”
When asked how many families he plans to send the care packages to, he said, “Well, all the displaced families, which is way over 100 right now, and then, like I said, there’s people texting me that live in the building next door and they’re scared, and they don’t really know what’s happening. They don’t wanna stay there, so they also wanna move to hotels. We’re just gonna help the whole community that needs these packages.”
Different prayer groups have also gathered to offer prayers for the families affected.
Those who have missing loved ones should visit the Family Reunification Center at 9449 Collins Avenue or call 305-614-1819.
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