Monday, September 15, 2008

Miami brings hope to hurricane victims - You can help, too.

The past few weeks have brought vast devastation to our Caribbean neighbors, as hurricanes Gustav and Ike and tropical storms Fay and Hanna have ripped through the region, leaving behind a wide path of destruction. The islands of Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos have been bombarded by one hurricane after another. The storms caused hundreds of deaths, millions of dollars in losses and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in dire need of food, clothing and emergency assistance.
Although we have been spared so far this hurricane season, in Miami we are still painfully familiar with the devastating effects of hurricanes. We know from experience how difficult it is to recover from the destruction that hurricanes leave behind, and know that help is always needed and deeply appreciated. It is times like these that neighbors must help neighbors, and I urge you to open your hearts, and your wallets, to help.
That is why the City of Miami partnered with Catholic Charities, The American Red Cross, Miami Dade College, the University of Miami, and other community organizations in their efforts to collect aid and supplies to be sent to affected islands in the Caribbean. Catholic Charities and the Red Cross are requesting monetary donations to assist in their relief efforts.
Two weeks ago, after Hurricane Gustav ripped through Haiti, the City of Miami, led by Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, partnered with Dolphin Stadium, the Marlins, the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes to kick off “Operation: Hope for Haiti”. At the September 7th Miami Dolphins football game against the New York Jets, an overwhelming amount of food and clothing was collected. Food and clothing drops are located at all City of Miami Fire Stations and various Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) offices throughout the City.

Below please find information on all of the relief efforts, and find some time to donate to those in need.

· Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami
Catholic Charities Storm Aid
9401 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami Shores, FL 33138

· American Red Cross
The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at
American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013

· Miami Dade College
Beginning on Monday, Sept. 15, through Friday, Sept. 19, MDC will collect nonperishable food, baby supplies and new or used clothing in good condition at eight of their campuses: Hialeah Campus, Homestead Campus, InterAmerican Campus, Kendall Campus, Medical Center Campus, North Campus, West Campus, Wolfson Campus, and Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center.

· Operation: Hope for Haiti
Operation Hope for Haiti will continue through September 19. Food and clothing drops are located at all City of Miami Fire Stations and various Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) offices throughout the City. Residents are encouraged to donate non-perishable items, water, medicine and clothing. In addition to donating items at the City of Miami Fire-Rescue Stations and NET offices, Miami Dolphins, Marlins and Hurricane Fans can donate food and clothing at the Dolphin Stadium during game time. For more information on Operation: Hope for Haiti, please contact the office of Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones at (305) 250-5390.