Diaspora

South Florida nonprofits spearhead relief efforts for victims of Haiti earthquake – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

MIAMI (WSVN) – South Florida nonprofits are stepping up to deliver aid for residents of Haiti who are reeling from Saturday’s deadly earthquake.
Coconut Creek’s Food for the Poor arrived to the island nation on Sunday with a fleet of five 40-foot containers filled with food and essentials.
By Monday morning, the organization had made preparations to send thousands of pounds of more food and other supplies to Haiti.
“This is going in support for the additional aid that we know Haiti is so desperately going to need,” said one Food for the Poor organizer. “Just yesterday we deployed an additional five containers of aid. I just want to ask the community to continue to pray for Haiti, continue to think about Haiti. Haiti is going to need you, please come out and support. We’re here — Food for the Poor will never leave Haiti.”
Meanwhile, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Dennis Clancey with the veteran-led nonprofit Team Rubicon said they plan to hit the ground running.
“We have medical providers that are already en route,” he said.
Clancey will be flying in with crates of medical supplies.
“The first thing you look at is, what are those immediate medical needs of people that are injured?” he said.
The much-needed help comes as the death toll for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake more than doubled in 24 hours. As of late Sunday night, the death toll stands at 1,297.
The Port-au-Prince Operations Center has reported at least 500 victims with broken arms, legs and head injuries awaiting treatment.
Aid reaches the embattled nation as the scope of the damage becomes more clear.
Sunday evening, the U.S Coast Guard arrived on the ground in Haiti with aircrews transporting medical supplies.
A picture of a girl being held by a U.S. Coast Guard officer is one of many devastating images coming out of Haiti this weekend.
Back on U.S. soil, the damage is still hard to take in for Haiti natives.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” said a Haitian American resident standing outside St. Mary’s Cathedral in Miami.
The Archdiocese of Miami lifted Haiti in prayer during Sunday morning Mass at St. Mary’s.
“We prayed for strength, for consolation,” said Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski.
On Saturday, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami announced they have partnered with the United Way to accept cash donations to fund relief efforts.
“I’ll be glad if they can help us,” said the man standing outside St. Mary’s.
More help is on the way. JetBlue Airlines provided a plane to the nonprofit World Center Kitchen, as volunteers scrambled to deliver hot meals.
“We’ve got to get the food down there. We’ve got to set up the kitchens, and that’s what’s on this plane right now,” said World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Look.
The World Center Kitchen team anticipates logistical challenges as they head toward the island’s southern region.
“A lot of buildings are down, roads are out, so, getting the equipment, first, down to Haiti, and then we have to get it to those communities that are really impacted,” said Look.
Sunday night, Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower lit up the downtown Miami skyline in red and blue, the colors of the Haitian flag, in a show of solidarity.
Groups across South Florida are standing at the ready and are inviting people to answer that call. Leaders said their plan is to get on the ground, assess the need, assess the damage and get to work.
Here’s how you can help:

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