Local organizations, residents lend helping hand to families in Iota-battered Central America

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida is sending support to Central America to help residents devastated by Hurricane Iota.

It has been a difficult fall for residents in Central America and the Caribbean due to the one-two punch of Eta and Iota in recent weeks.

“This is a time of year when the season should normally be winding down, and it’s not,” said Claire Nullis with the World Metorological Organization. “In fact, we’re seeing this very tragic late surge in action.”

Speaking of action, South Floridians, some with ties to Central America, have wasted no time working around the clock to send help to those left helpless by the hurricanes.

“We are collecting everything from clothing, shoes, medicines, baby things, items [like] Pampers, wipes,” said Martha Hernandez with the nonprofit Amor y Fuerza Honduras (Love and Strength Honduras).

Honduras is Hernandez’s home country. She said she is well aware of the day-to-day struggles for many people in Central America, and the natural disasters are compounding their misery.

“They are already poor, and for this to happen, it’s going to be even worse,” she said.

South Florida residents, who know all too well what hurricanes can do, are stepping up.

“I just felt I needed to do something. I was just sitting at home, and I wanted to really be a part of the effort to help the people who are affected,” said a woman who donated supplies.

Donation drives are springing up across South Florida, with volunteers taking in everything needed to begin the recovery process.

“Right now, what we are most needing is medicines, mattresses, tools, so the people over there can recover the little that is left,” said Hernandez.

In addition, large quantities of food are on the way from the Coconut Creek-based nonprofit Food for the Poor.

Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez, meanwhile, showed up in person to send his navy to the strike zone with boatloads of humanitarian aid and support personnel to back up the Red Cross and other organizations.

Donations to Central American countries have been pouring in, but more will be needed in the weeks and months to come.

Donations to Amor y Fuerza Honduras can be dropped off at 1520 N.W. 79th Ave., Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 305-454-3031 or 786-537-0020.

If you would like to make a donation to Food for the Poor, click here.

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