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Local agencies in Broward reaching out to help Haiti; find staff members in Haiti during earthquake


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When the president of a country doesn’t know where he is to sleep, you know it’s bad. After a 7.0 earthquake demolished Port O’ Prince, Haiti on Tuesday, people around the world are trying to help the devastated country.

“I don’t know where I’ll sleep tonight—but there’s plenty of time to find a place,” said Rene Preval to the first publicized interview on CNN. Right now I am working how to help people. I’m still looking to understand the magnitude of the event and how to manage.

“People have been in the streets for two days now—we don’t have the capacity to bring them to the hospital.”

Preval said the first priority is cleaning the streets and rescue workers. With over 600,000 Haitian-Americans in South Florida, several local agencies are working to provide aide to Haiti.

Food for the Poor (FFTP) has a group of 12 Lynn University students, and two faculty advisors in Haiti on a mission trip. FFTP’s Mission Officer in Haiti said the students were dropped off at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince at 4 pm. The agency said they have learned there has been some damage to the hotel and are working to ascertain that the students, advisors and our staff are safe.

The agency is taking donations of supplies and money and are working the logistics with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies to deliver relief. For information and to donate:

The Salvation Army of Broward oversees the Salvation Army operations in Haiti, say officials with the agency, and is currently responding to the situation to assess damage.

“(We) are currently working on chartering a plane for Haiti to send a team to rescue personal, assess damages etc.,” said Mark Young with SA. “Currently, Salvation Army Major Tom Louden says there are some officers still unaccounted for. The Salvation Army facilities in Haiti have been severely damaged.”

Young said the flight to Haiti will assess the situation, and once he has further discussions with national Salvation Army headquarters, he will have more information on the situation and how residents can help.This is the first of several flights headed to Haiti from South Florida in the next few days. Major Louden is expected to return from Haiti on Friday along with some refuges—details will be provided as soon as we have them. The mobile feeding canteen is being prepared in the event it can be shipped and utilized in Haiti. The Salvation Army of Florida has taken a large shipment of water in the hopes that it can be sent on FEMA cargo planes to Haiti. At this time the Salvation Army is only asking for monetary donations. Checks can be mailed or delivered to with a notation for “Haiti Relief.”) Salvation Army, 1445 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Donations can also be made online at or call

United Way of Broward County: or Or TEXT the word YELE to 501501. A $5 donation will go to the YELE HAITI Foundation for relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Two excellent organizations accepting donations for response to the Haiti quake are Oxfam America and Partners in Health ( Both have staff on the ground and solid reputations

The American Red Cross has donated $200,000 immediately to help and is urging residents to make a donation to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund.

“In South Florida so many of our neighbors are from Haiti and many still have family on the island,” said Sam Tidwell CEO of the American Red Cross South Florida Region. “The best way for us to provide assistance is to make a monetary donation to the Red Cross because that will allow us to directly purchase the supplies that are needed immediately in Haiti. Your donation will ensure that families do not go hungry, that they have enough water to drink and that they can get the emergency supplies to begin cleaning up their homes and their communities.”

Donations can be sent to the American Red Cross Greater Miami & The Keys, 335 SW 27th Ave., Miami, FL 33135 , or the American Red Cross Broward County Chapter, 6710 W Sunrise Blvd., Suite 111, Plantation, FL 33313 or made by phone at 305-644-1200 or or online by clicking here. If you prefer to make a $10 donation by text message, send the word “HAITI” to 90999.

Food For The Poor employees have reported the following accounts:

– A hospital has collapsed in Pétionville, a town in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince

– There appear to be more homes down than standing in several areas of Port-au-Prince

– Major number of homes down in the area of Delmas

– One staffer saw a five-story building collapse

– One employee saw a major bridge, the Croix de Mission, collapse right in front of her as she drove home. The bridge is a major artery to the North end of Haiti from Port-au-Prince.

– A portion of Food For The Poor’s main office in Port-au-Price has collapsed. Our feeding center (Food For the Poor provides food for thousands of Haitians on a daily basis there) and the ’s warehouse are there. We are still gathering information on the extent of the damage.

– Cell phone communication continues to be limited.

– Food For the Poor has 2 employees in Santo, Domingo where the shocks were strongly felt. The hotel they were at during the quake asked all guests to stay in the lobby until the shocks subsided.

Food For The Poor will do everything it can to reach out to the people of Haiti, and will keep updating its website as information comes in.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who are watching this disaster unfold around them. This country seems to take a beating far too often,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “We have been monitoring the situation since it first happened, and we will take immediate steps to offer relief to those suffering from this earthquake.”


Helping Haiti Happy Hour
Friday Jan. 15th, 5:30 PM til 9 PM at The Back Room
7200 N. Dixie Hwy, Boca Raton
Bring boxed and packaged items, lighter items, no cans. Personal and toiletry items and dry goods, dry foods). You can also drop just a few dollars in the DONATION JAR that will be out on the food table, which will go to the Red Cross International Relief Fund for Haiti. Complimentary munchies, live music and a warm cozy fire pit! The Patio Bar will be open with $3 domestic beers and $5 wines. Co-hostessed by Tara Sinclair and Priscilla Speicher.

“Fourharts One World” a foundation dedicated to raise money and donations for under-privileged children from all over the world, is collecting items like, diapers, towels, blankets, shoes, clothing, can foods, money etc. To help, go to or email or call The first shipment to Haiti is this weekend. They will meet you or you can drop off.

St. Timothy Catholic Church is collecting relief supplies. Please contact Richard Jean at 305-274-8229 for details.

whiteSPACE in Dania Beach, at 1200 Stirling Rd Units 11 A&B, will be a donation drop-off location Monday through Wednesday of NEXT WEEK – Jan. 18,19 and 20. Please start gathering items (canned goods, toiletries, medical supplies, clothing diapers etc.) to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP CALL am – 5pm in back parking lot.

Photo from Haiti, courtesy of Food for the Poor.

Related posts:

  1. Salvation Army leading prayer service Friday for Haiti
  2. “Seminole Haiti Relief Crank It Up” at Seminole Casinos to Raise Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars for Haiti Earthquake Relief
  3. Broward County employees helping Haiti; tariff charges to Haiti dropped at port
  4. Food for the Poor staff member pulled from Haiti rubble
  5. United States Government Haiti Earthquake Disaster Response Update

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Jan 13 2010. Filed under Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, International relations, Local news, Non-profit organizations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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