Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club sends relief supplies to Haiti

Aug. 14 earthquake victims still need aid


Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club President Marc Rigueur and club member Jordan Pecora detailed the uptick in relief efforts for Haiti subsequent to the 7.2-magnititude earthquake that rocked the island nation’s southwestern sector and killed at least 2,200 citizens.

We have continued our efforts to support Haiti since the August 14th Earthquake. The Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club has committed to a few small Haitian towns heavily impacted: Les Cayes, Ducis, Reginier, and Labotiliere. We have established and maintained communications with the Rotary Club in the administrative division that is also called Les Cayes within the epicenter of the earthquake. We have also established communications with a listing of individuals and church organization's with the towns targeted for assistance in Haiti, with whom we can coordinate.

Our club's past president, Florence Marc-Charles, has gone above and beyond in coordinating with these various individuals and groups within the last few weeks to transport supplies to the Haitian towns.   Locally, we joined with various Rotary Clubs within our district led by our current district governor, Mary Ellen (Mel) Ellwood.

We have direct contact with doctors and medical personnel within a hospital in Haiti where numerous severely injured people were transported. The medical personnel provided us with a list of medical supplies they needed. These supplies have been purchased by our club, and the logistics have been worked out for how we will forward them to their destinations in Haiti.

Our district Rotary clubs created a flyer listing the requested supplies, which was forwarded to all of our members on Long Island. My [Marc Rigeuer’s] office in Freeport was a drop-off site. Three Freeport-Merrick Rotarians -- Barry McDaniel, Eddy Marc-Charles, and Florence Marc-Charles -- delivered a large quantity of donated items in boxes to KBG Logistics in Bay Shore, which had kindly agreed to receive the supplies we collected during Sept. 13-15. Past President Astrid Fidelia and District Governor Mary Ellen Ellwood, with other Rotarians and volunteers, patiently separated and packed the donated items into larger boxes destined for the four towns in the south of Haiti. KBG Logistics also donated a trailer to store the items, and then delivered them to the Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. There the supplies will be placed in a container that Children’s Hospital is shipping to Haiti.

We are working with the Rotary Club of Les Cayes and the Rotary Club of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city, to ensure that the items are delivered and distributed to the people in need.

This project was an example of teamwork and collaboration between the different Rotary Clubs across the globe. We are also thankful to other Freeport organizations like HAFALI (Haitian American Families of Long Island Inc.), who contacted us and have committed to assisting some of the same Haitian towns.   Now that the logistics of getting supplies to Haiti have been well established, we plan on shipping more items over the coming weeks.