NORFOLK, Va. — The situation in Haiti becomes more dire each day. It’s been nearly one week since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southern part of the Caribbean nation.
More than 2,000 people lost their lives. Thousands more are hurt or missing in the rubble.
Calherbe Monel is CEO and chairman of the nonprofit Christians United for Haiti. He is part of leading earthquake relief efforts, just like in 2010.
“As individuals, as citizens, we can play a role in helping folks in Haiti right now by donating some items and also contributing to shipping the stuff to Haiti," said Monel. He is teaming up with Mike Palmer from MP Island Café and Grocery.
They’re collecting tents, tarps, generators, first aid items, hygiene products and school supplies.
A GoFundMe page and Zelle account (firstname.lastname@example.org) are set up. Relief items can be dropped off at café locations in Norfolk, 6109 E Virginia Beach Blvd, or Portsmouth, 5583 Portsmouth Blvd. You can also volunteer.
More local faith leaders are uniting to help Haiti. The Tidewater-Peninsula Baptist Association has two donation collection sites at churches in Newport News and Norfolk. They're looking for items like clothes, undergarments, cases of water and food, as well as tarps and medical supplies.
If you'd like to help, the association has drop off locations at New Beech Grove Baptist Church, 361 Beechmond Dr. in Newport News, and at Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, 1057 Kennedy St. in Norfolk.
In addition to relief items, organizers say prayer is a key part in the recovery. Haiti, after all, has to rebuild after the earthquake, tropical storms and the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse just last month.
“We have to keep going," said Monel. "Regardless of how hard you get hit with these natural disasters and man-made disasters, politically speaking, then we have to keep helping and keep supporting for the people.”
Monel also told 13News Now he plans on traveling to Haiti in the near future to assist on the ground. The donation collection he is organizing will run for a few weeks.