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Haitian-Americans lean on professional connections to support earthquake relief


For Carlo Damus, the Aug. 14 earthquake in southern Haiti was a frustrating reminder of the country’s failure to plan for disaster. 

“At this stage, I’m tired of what’s going on in Haiti,” said Damus, a Brooklyn-based teacher. “They’re always reacting, there wasn’t any plan. They know Haiti’s built on faults.” 

Yet Damus, 65, stepped in to fill gaps in relief, left by those same government officials who failed to plan, after the last earthquake in January 2010. A math teacher at Isaac Bildersee Middle School in Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighborhood, he has received financial support from his labor union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which represents nearly 200,000 New York City public school employees. 

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