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Madelie Fils-Aime survived the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She says she’s doing what she can to support the victims of this latest disaster.
Fils-Aime remembers what it was like to live through an earthquake more than a decade ago.
“I saw a policeman, and I said, ‘My mom needs help,’ and he goes, ‘Everybody needs help right now,’” Fils-Aime says.
She lost her mother during that 7.0-magnitude quake, and their family’s home was destroyed as well.
“She was very giving,” says Fils-Aime, who was just 16 at the time.
A month afterwards, she moved to the city to stay with family, leaving behind the place she once called home.
Seeing the current images from Haiti’s recent 7.2-magnitude quake brought back difficult memories.
“I was sitting at work and I had a major flashback of the whole thing happening again. Made me want to run. And I told myself, ‘I really need to put my triggers aside and help,’” Fils-Aime says.
The Harlem resident has been reaching out to her friends and businesses like the Haitian restaurant Rebel, asking for donations that can be sent directly to Haiti.
“The money is going towards food, water, clothing, shoes, adhoc shelters like tarpolines and tents,” Fils-Aime says.
Her gofundme page has raised $3,000 so far – not close to her $100,000 goal, but Fils-Aime says every penny counts.
“It’s all hands on deck and I’m making the calls – its been two days I’m sleeping at 3AM, 4AM. I want to get this done, ” Fils-Aime says.
Fils-Aime says she knows the amount of work for Haiti to recover seems almost insurmountable, but she says she’s doing exactly what her mom would do and knows she would be proud.
“She would be. She’d say, ‘You like to say how I’m always helping people, huh? Now look at you now,’” Fils-Aime says.