Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti aid: More volunteers needed to handle relief supplies

The call is being issued even more loudly: More volunteers needed.

“This is the time to answer Dr. King’s call to service,” said Brad Schenck, field director for Organizing for America. He’s working out of a modest donated warehouse in Little Haiti where donated goods are collected from around Miami.

It’s at 7220 N. Miami Ave., and that’s where volunteers are needed.

In three hours I spent there Friday morning there were traffic jams of City of Miami pickups full of water, groceries, tons of rice, clothes and other donations that had been left at fire stations and elsewhere around the city.

Schenck expertly drove a fork-lift – “One of my secret talents,” he said – to move pallets of goods to where they will be taken for shipment to Haiti.

When? Hard to say immediately, but one of the volunteers was a pilot with a twin-engine plane he’s willing to lend to the delivery effort. Things are happening, and everyone is conscious of the dire conditions faced by millions in Haiti, as aid workers try to put vital goods in the pipeline.

This link takes you to the Miami Herald roundup of aid efforts in South Florida.

This short video shows a collection point at a Walmart on 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, as well as the central warehouse on the 7200 block of North Miami Avenue.

Please note my earlier short posts on the kind of goods that are high on the list of priorities now. That is, don’t send your old clothes – send fresh medical supplies, baby formula, water, big bags of rice. Canned goods are better kept for your own hurricane reserve. Money to help rebuild is a good idea.

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