Read the article below, published in the Patch, and learn how members of New York’s Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities are launching multiple Driving Relief Campaigns to bring help to Haitians after an earthquake had hit the country. ED of Masbia Soup Kitchen, Alexander Rapaport, participated in the press conference outside of Spring Valley Hall and brought supplies to be delivered to Haiti.
Rockland Jewish Community Pledges $1 Million Relief Aid For Haiti
Members of New York's Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities came together Tuesday to announce a massive relief effort to benefit the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti, where more than 2,200 were killed and entire towns destroyed.
"Some world tragedies are beyond the control of mankind, but we must take control of how we react to those catastrophes," said Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder (D-Spring Valley). "We are now approaching the Jewish High Holy Days where we pray and beseech God to heal the world and for a better tomorrow. It is also a time where we are being judged by God and there is no better way to enter God's courtroom than by helping your fellow human being in pain."
Wieder, a main organizer of the relief effort, said the Hasidic community is pledging to do all it can to bring relief to Haiti and that already, two shipping containers of essential items and nonperishable food exceeding $1 million has been put together and will be shipped to Haiti.
Shelf-stable food and hygiene products such as hand sanitizer and wipes, among other items, will be delivered directly to earthquake victims in Haiti by members of the nonprofit, Spring Valley-based Konbit Neg Lakay and Rockland Haiti Relief.
Bishop Paul D. Laplante of the First Haitian Church of God of Middletown is sponsoring the shipment of the containers. He was represented by his son, Dainde M. Laplante.
"Haiti's hurting but it's not broken and because of the unity shown today amongst the brothers and sisters in the community, we know that Haiti will receive the aid that it needs, and we shall survive this," Laplante said. "We are a strong people. We are not weak people. We are strong, We're just down for right now. But God willing, things will change for the better."
Masbia Soup Kitchen Network Executive Director Alexander Rapaport is also a main organizer for the relief effort.
"It's very simple," Rapaport said. "There are people not far away from here, a couple of thousand miles away, and they need our help and we're coming together here today to launch a huge help, especially now … Let's share what we got here and we're going to send it to our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are suffering from this earthquake."
He invited anyone who wants to help to visit the Masbia website to sponsor the purchase of food or "wish list" items or to make a corporate donation. In-person donations can be dropped off, he said.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and in desperate need of outside aid. Spring Valley, Brooklyn, and Queens are home to a large number of people of Haitian descent and the relief effort is meant to send not only tangible aid but hope to Haitians everywhere that they have not been forgotten.
Among those at the news conference was New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-Brooklyn).
"The Jewish community and the Haitian community have a rich history and…it is time, this time for the Jewish community to be there for our brothers and sisters in the Haitian community," Eichenstein said. "So, we have joined efforts here today and we are calling on all New Yorkers no matter your background, race, or religion to step up, contribute, join this effort. We are at our best when we are united."
More than 2,200 people have so far been confirmed dead after the 7.2 earthquake hit on Aug. 14, just 10 days ago. More than 12,000 people have been injured and more than 53,000 houses have been destroyed. Hospitals and aid organizations have been overwhelmed and inundated with people seeking shelter, medical care, food, and clean drinking water. Members of the Haitian American Nurses Association of the Hudson Valley, some of whom joined in today's announcement, will soon head to Haiti to help and may help disburse some of the donations.
HOW TO HELP HAITI
- Visit the Masbia website for a list of supplies you can donate via an online or in-person donation.
- Visit Rockland County Haiti Relief's Go Fund Me Page or send checks to "Rockland County Haiti Relief." Mail to Konbit Neg Lakay, 16 E. Church St., Spring Valley, NY 10977.
- Rockland County Haiti Relief and the Haitian American Nurses Association of Hudson Valley are coordinating a drive for relief supplies - nonperishable food, over the counter medicine, personal care products, baby & infant supplies, first aid kits, blankets, tents, air mattresses, solar lights, toiletries, feminine products, flashlights, batteries, extension cords, candles, facemasks, gloves, washcloths, water, alcohol 95 percent, hand sanitizer (no clothes or shoes at this time). Drop off items at Konbit Neg Lakay, 16 E. Church St., Spring Valley.
Read the original article HERE.