Mt. Hope Housing Company CEO Fritz Jean, a first-generation Haitian, talks about the need to help earthquake victims. He's flanked by district leader Hector Ramirez (left) and Councilman Fernando Cabrera (right). (Photo by Amber Rodriguez)
District 14 Council Member Fernando Cabrera held a press conference today to talk about his plan to help victims of 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged the Haitian capital yesterday afternoon.
Cabrera, along with a team of church and district leaders, will be on a flight to the Dominican Republic on Monday, noting that it would be easier and faster to cross the border into Haiti than fly there.
First and foremost, Cabrera's team is taking into account the Consulate General of Haiti's immediate call for medical services. They have noted that survivors of the earthquake are largely affected by a need for medicine, especially those who suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes. Due to vast hospital overcrowding, there has also been a call for tents in order to remain operational even outside normal hospital facilities. This will be the team's immediate concern, channeling their initial efforts into the hospitals and general medical care.
Cabrera's New Life Outreach International church emphasizes humanitarian efforts abroad and has completed projects in the Dominican Republic an Africa.
Also in attendance was Fritz Jean, CEO of the Mount Hope Housing Company, a member of Cabrera's team and a first-generation Haitian. Expounding upon Cabrera's call to immediate action, Jean added, "We have to sustain the movement." Jean is only one of the many leaders in attendance that will be continuing to accept donations - monetary, clothing, medicine, food and water - throughout their campaign.
Also addressing the widespread concern as to where funds will go, Jean promises that "the resources will get to the people," and the funds and donations will be doled out to everyone in need of them, as well as avoiding the fizzle-out affect that plaques many aid missions.
When asked what our readers could do immediately, Cabrera encouraged involvement. The team is currently raising more money to provide medical supplies, but food and water will soon follow. Cabrera wishes to point our readers to the Latin- and African-American Chaplain Association (LACA): Call (718) 842-8555 if you wish to donate or help in any way.