South Florida community continues to gather supplies for Haiti

MIAMI (WSVN) - Residents in Haiti are still very much in need of help after Hurricane Matthew blew through and left thousands with little to nothing. South Florida is lending a helping hand by sending supplies to the hardest hit areas on the island nation.

South Floridians with ties to Haiti have been gathering supplies and said they were blown away by the generosity of the community. Boxes have been piling up at Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church in Little Haiti, but in this situation, there is no such thing as too much help for those struggling after Hurricane Matthew.

Hundreds were killed due to the storm, and the death toll continues to rise while countless others remain homeless. For many in South Florida, like City of Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Jackson Deglace, who is Haitian-American, helping Haiti is personal. “Oh, yes, definitely,” he said.

He’s been volunteering his time lugging boxes full of donations gathered at the city’s fire stations. “It’s great to see that the community is coming out like this to provide relief,” Deglace said.

Water, food, clothing and medicine are some items that have been piling up at Notre Dame d’Haiti Church, which is one of several groups and organizations across South Florida that is collecting donations.

“People are really showing their love,” said Net Administrator for Little Haiti’s Gary Lafell, “and it’s coming through the heart of helping our fellow brothers and sisters in Haiti.”

While there has been a plethora of boxes, there’s also a call for cash. The newly-formed South Florida Haiti Relief Group, which is comprised of local and state leaders, is looking for donations.

The address for Saint La Haitian Neighborhood Center, the financial agent for the relief effort is 5000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Florida, 33137.

“The donations will be distributed to the most accountable and credible organizations working in the most devastated regions of Haiti,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestine.

The effort will focus on health, education and stabilizing small businesses.

There are many ways to give in South Florida, and everything is needed to help those in need. “There’s a lot of damage. There’s a lot of death and these people are in need,” Lafell said.

Plans are currently in the works to get those supplies to Haiti. Medicine from South Florida will arrive Wednesday. The Man Dodo Humanitarian Foundation and the Haitian American Nurses Association are expected to travel to Haiti on Wednesday.

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