Several local organizations are appealing to South Floridians to raise money to deliver food, clothing, water and medical supplies to flood victims in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The Southwest Broward Republican Organization and the Broward Republican Outreach Coalition will solicit donations on Saturday at some Publix, Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart stores.
Relief efforts also are taking root at Florida Atlantic University campuses in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Delray Beach and Minority Development & Empowerment, a Broward service organization targeting the Caribbean.
”The need is out there and hopefully [the flood] is fresh in people’s minds,” said Diane Nusbaum, service team chairman of the Southwest Broward Republican Organization.
Last week, torrential rains swept through towns in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Jimaní in the Dominican Republic, and Mapou and Fond Verrettes, across the border in Haiti, were among the hardest-hit regions.
Nusbaum said the Republican groups already had been working with World Vision, an international Christian relief organization, to bring water, sanitation, medical supplies for children with AIDS and emergency medical kits to Haiti after the recent political unrest.
The organizations expanded their efforts to include the Dominican Republic after the flooding.
Minority Development & Empowerment also is collecting clothing and nonperishable food items, said Guithele Ruiz-Nicolas, vice president of communications and human resources at Minority Development & Empowerment.
”A number of people have reached out to our agency asking how can they help,” Ruiz-Nicolas said.
She said the organization also will work with Florida Atlantic University and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Haitian church in Delray Beach more than 3,000 strong.
Father Roland Desormeaux said the church raised $42,000 during a radio pledge marathon last Friday and Saturday.
”Believe me, the response was positive,” Desormeaux said.
He said they hope to raise $50,000 and deliver the money in person to areas in need in Haiti.
Iris Addison, the volunteer liaison for FAU’s Volunteer Center, said she will set up booths at the university’s campuses to gather donations in the next week.
”They are our neighbors in need,” said Addison, an FAU student. “I think it is only fair to help our neighbors in a situation like this.”