Houston launches donation campaign for Haitians affected by earthquake


Houston has launched a donation campaign to help Haiti recover from last week’s major earthquake.

Mayor Sylvester Turner on Saturday announced a relief program for Haitians affected by a large-scale earthquake and tropical storm.

The 7.2 earthquake that struck the country on August 14 left at least 2,200 dead and 12,000 injured, the Haiti Civil Protection Agency announced on Sunday. More than 340 people are still missing. Three days after the first disaster, Tropical Storm Grace hit the area causing flooding and landslides, hampering rescues. In the process, at least 650,000 people need emergency assistance, such as water, food and tarpaulins, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

Houston is mobilizing to meet this need by organizing a procurement campaign in partnership with Houston Haitians United, People Outreach Ministry and the National Association of Christian Churches Disaster Services.

“We are definitely better and stronger when we are together,” said Jonas Hilaire, pastor of the Haitian First Church of God, when the campaign was announced.

It’s an opportunity to pay it forward after communities around the world helped Houston in the aftermath of the February freeze, Hurricane Harvey and other disasters, Turner said. “Houston is the proud home of a large Haitian community and today we are called to help our neighbors in Haiti who are currently suffering great suffering and loss,” he said.

About 2,300 Haitians lived in the Houston area, according to the latest census estimates.

Donations will be accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the National Association of Christian Churches at 16605 Air Center Boulevard.

Supplies needed include diapers, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, non-perishable food, bottled water, and pet food.

“It’s important,” Turner said. “Frankly, it could have been us.

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