Making Your Mark: Helping Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

13News Now LaSalle Blanks has the story

HAMPTON, VA (WVEC-TV) -- Hampton Roads is showing its heart. Even though Hurricane Matthew left some of us with a mess to clean up, some people here are reaching out to a place -- and to people -- hit even harder.

Pastor Phil Lucas of the Greater Bethlehem Christian Assembly Church in Hampton is leading an effort to help collect donations to buy food, medicine and clothes to comfort Haitians, who are now facing a widespread cholera outbreak because of the hurricane.

Pastor Lucas is also collecting products to help purify the water there to help with that crisis.

Through his Haiti Missions Incorporated non-profit effort, he and several church members volunteer to travel to Haiti to hand-deliver essentials that they hope will help them rebound after the storm.

Pastor Lucas has been doing charity work in Haiti for just about 30 years.

"Touching people and changing them in ways with orphanages and clinics," he said.

And he's proud of the members of his congregation who feel compelled to help -- like Joe, who dropped off a bunch of new sneakers when 13News Now visited the church.

"You've made a tremendous impact in the life of someone just with your donation," Pastor Lucas told Joe. "I'm so thankful."

Pastor Lucas told 13News Now why Joe's gift of sneakers could be so valuable.

"I've seen over the years, people actually wear bottles tied to their feet because they did not have shoes," he said. "Bottles -- plastic bottles."

Pastor Lucas says another reason why he knows what impact generosity here will make there is because of what he experienced as a child.

"We grew up very poor. And we really didn't have anything and it was near Christmas time and someone came knocking on the door," he said. "They brought gifts to us knowing that our family did not have ...how did they know? I have no idea, but I just knew from that moment on God has touched my heart to be able to give."

Pastor Lucas sys there's also a plan for several Hampton Roads churches to come together in the coming weeks for a benefit concert for Haiti. We'll have more information as soon as the details are worked out. 

PHOTOS: Helping Haiti after Hurricane Matthew


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