We would like to first begin by apologizing and sympathizing with all who have suffered loss as a result of Hurricane Matthew including the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica, Turks, & Caicos. Our heart goes out especially to Haiti & the Diaspora who is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake. This tropical cyclone with nature’s fury has just added an additional insult to injury. In addition, we are also concerned about another catastrophe occurring soon afterwards in our own backyard in Florida, front-yard in South Carolina & our own beloved state Georgia.

Streets of Jeremie after Hurricane Matthew
Photo credit: Le Nouvelliste

Our plate is full with limited time for digestion. Although it appears as if we have been silent; we in partnership with other organizations, actually have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to assist friends, families and many others living in southwest Haiti. The eye of the storm will destroy everything in its path including people. We made countless phone calls, sent countless emails, & text messages to Haiti, New York & Florida to exchange and share ideas and resources. So we had to act fast because the clock was ticking, but not in our favor.

Due to other organizations providing shelter with basic food, clean drinking water, medical supplies and necessary hygiene products, we decided to support them financially. Many of the items needed in crisis like these are readily available in Haiti. Without the funding for these supplies being available once the residents were in a safe zone, our rescue efforts would be in vain because we would be dealing with the issue of starvation coupled with despair. We had to be strategic in understanding all of the possible challenges & how to deal with them. With each progress, we faced roadblocks ranging from flights & cargoes being cancelled, money transfer locations closed indefinitely, power outages, & cell phone service being down just to name a few.

This storm with winds travelling at a rate of 140 mph and 3 feet of rainfall left a devastating track of landslides and mudslides oozing out of the south. The category 4 storm destroyed homes, bridges, roads, & has taken countless lives. At least 300 have been reported to date. The total may not be realized for weeks or months. Although we are powerless in stopping the forces of nature, we have been proactive in working on helping with immediate needs & brainstorming long-term goals.

We want to thank all of those who are helping to make a difference in the lives of others during this crisis. Although we are faced with a big task, our hearts & love for Haiti is bigger. L’union fait la force. Collectively we can make a difference.

Thank you to all who assisted by making phone calls, sending emails and texts, getting on a conference call, reporting the news, posting updates, sharing photos, donating items, sending money, setting up crowdfunding, shipping items, sharing ideas, offering your business as a drop off location, networking with others to help us connect the dots, etc. We cannot thank you enough. We have only scratched the surface. There is still more work to do.

In the meantime, we have set up some drop locations in a city near to make your donations. We encourage everyone who has a family or friend in Haiti to send money.  Western Union is waiving fee until October 9th.  We also want to support a few charities Samara’s Angels, Wings of Hope International & Food for the Poor just to name a few.

We have set up a hotline to assist in information gathering and receiving to help the communities in the diaspora coordinate efforts.  The number is 855-ede-mwen (855-333-6936).

Our next phase will be in planning what is to come of the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  It will be time for disease prevention, addressing food and shelter and laying out a master plan for rebuilding.  We believe that Haitians can help their own country and this will be a test.

Once again, collectively we can make a difference.

 

Thank you.
The HYRO team and it friends.

 

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