ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s happened again: Haiti is now in a state of devastation after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation.
The violent temblor killed at least 1,297 people and hurt at least another 5,700 on Saturday. Hundreds of people are potentially missing, with frantic efforts to save those hospitalized due to injuries from the earthquake.
As search and rescue crews sift through the rubble, the emotional aftershocks of the damage are being felt in Central Florida’s growing Haitian community.
“Their heart is aching, they are in pain, so more than ever prayer is needed to give them the consolation they need to deal with this type of devastation,” Dr. Marie Jose Francois, president and CEO for the Center For Multicultural Wellness in Orlando said.
Francois was a physician in Haiti before, her work inspiring her to open the center in Orlando.
Haiti is now also in the path of Tropical Depression Grace, which triggered a tropical storm warning for much of the area on Monday. As Haitians deal with the aftermath of the earthquake and brace for a storm, organizations are stepping up to do what they can to help the island’s people.
Below is a list of efforts you can contribute:
Air Mobile Ministries
Air Mobile Ministries is aiding in search and rescue efforts in Haiti. The faith-based evangelical nonprofit group typically works to bring clean water to nations who need it but is currently using its resources to help in a larger capacity.
“When the word came an earthquake had hit Haiti, I just went into full mobilization--just dropped everything and began running, literally,” said Joe Hurston, founder of the nonprofit based in Florida. “The earthquake is just the beginning of what these people are dealing with. Right now, they’re dealing with major flooding and mudslides in addition to the earthquake.”
Hurston flew into Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, two days after the earthquake. He was delivering a barge filled with 3,100 pounds of rice and coordinating its arrival in various towns.
To contact the organization or to donate to their efforts, click here.
Second Chance International Ministries
An Orange County church is collecting donations to directly provide relief to loved ones in Haiti.
Second Chance International Ministries has set up a Cash App account for people to virtually donate to their relief fund. The church hosted a praise and worship service on Sunday, asking people to pray for victims as search and rescue crews work to find those still missing.
“It’s devastating, you know we have family overseas and it’s just difficult to believe like some like this could happen,” Louissa Lespinaze, a member of the church said. “Now is a better time as any to definitely put your faith to the test.”
People can send funds through to $sciministries on the Cash App platform.
[WATCH: Orange County church organizes relief efforts, offers prayers for Haiti]
Haitians in Orlando
A group that works to celebrate Haitian culture in Orlando is organizing a donation relief drive on Wednesday.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. businesses in Orlando will be teaming up with Haitians In Orlando and serve as drop-off locations. Items will later be picked up, driven to Miami and then shipped to the island via Wizza Shipping and Logistics, according to the group. For more information on what to donate, click here.
Here are the drop-off locations:
- Centric Realty Services LLC
- 1412 W. Colonial Drive #200
- Upscale Multi Services
- 2869 Wilshire Dr.
- Island Taste Bistro Hookah Lounge
- 5032 W. Colonial Dr.
Kann Caribbean Kitchen Rum Bar
Dr. Donel Richmond is the owner of the Kann Caribbean Kitchen Rum Bar. He is partnering with Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin to organize a fundraiser at his business.
“I have some of my customers calling me saying what am I doing for Haiti, I say you know what, I want to do something let me reach out to some of the leaders, Haitian leaders,” Richmond said.
People can head to 6803 S. Kirkman Rd. in Orlando on Aug. 28. Richmond said he is currently vetting non-profit organizations in Haiti to send the funds to.
Friends of the Children of Haiti
Friends of the Children of Haiti delivers items to the island year-round and is enhancing efforts in the wake of the powerful earthquake. The Illinois-based organization has set up an Amazon Smile account to allow people to purchase supplies or donate to their efforts. Amazon Smile allows consumers to purchase items they would typically order on Amazon with 0.5% of the proceeds going to an organization of their choice, all it takes is a special link.
Friends of the Children of Haiti ask people to utilize their link when making purchases or to consider purchasing goods for the island nation while simultaneously making a donation. People can put the organization’s shipping address as the delivery point.
The organization requests over-the-counter medicines, personal hygiene products, surgical and first aid materials.
“You can help us provide life-saving support to the Haitian population in and around our medical clinic in a few different ways,” the organization writes on its website.
Friends of the Children of Haiti says funds go to purchasing medications, healthcare supplies and supporting its Medika Mamba program for malnourished children.
For a list of supplies and their Amazon Smile link, click here.
This list will be updated as more opportunities become available. If you know of any other opportunities, please email email@example.com.