How to get help directly to the people in need in Haiti

BOSTON — The videos show families running for their lives trying to somehow escape an earthquake.

“It was about like 8:30 a.m. and I felt some shaking and we have some construction going on outside. So I thought you know something they were doing outside,” said Tatyana Jean-Louis of the Be Like Brit Foundation.

“I was like wait a second that’s not a construction wobble and I heard all the kids kind of rushing outside. So I realized okay something’s going on,” she said.

The 7.2 magnitude quake not only shook the foundation of the ground but the faith of the people.

“So it’s just like what’s going to happen next?,” asked Jean-Louis, who is serving in Haiti currently.

We may already know that answer. While people pick up the pieces of their homes, they are also gathering supplies to ride out major potential storms.

“We make sure that we have a lot of canned foods enough to at least last a couple of weeks as well as water,” said Jean-Louis.

Locally, the nonprofit True Alliance Center is trying to help but wants to ensure that help goes straight to the people, something they say didn’t happen in the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000.

“It was big organizations that got the funding,” said Dieufort Fleurissaint, president and executive director of the nonprofit True Alliance Center. “The people at the bottom didn’t really get the information.”

Foundations like Be Like Brit are also helping. It began after Massachusetts native Britney Gengel died during the 2010 earthquake hours after sending her parents a text that she one day wanted to start an Orphanage here. Her father did that in her honor.

“Yesterday kind of validated everything for him that those two years and building Brit’s home as we call it, because we stood strong,” said Jean-Louis. “We have no structural damage just a few, you know minor cosmetic cracks.”

No cracks in that building, but a lot of cracks in the country.

When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and a potential tropical system hit a small country within a couple of days, and some there say that’s not even the biggest concern right now, it may be a situation where the people need more than just thoughts and prayers.

True Alliance Center says they called an emergency meeting Sunday night to discuss the best way to get food water, clothing, supplies, money, and other resources to Haiti.

On top of that, they are dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with only a small percentage of vaccines available.

The nation also remains in turmoil and uncertainty after its President was assassinated in his own home.

They are also still dealing with the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the earthquake in 2010 that killed 220,000 people.

“We had received so many promises after the earthquake of 2010 and those findings never really get to the people that most needed it,” said Fleurissaint. “We started a conversation with the state department to review the policies for Haiti in terms of accountability that has never been materialized.”

Fleurissaint says the people there are strong and are just trying to keep the faith at this time.

He says some of the best ways to get help directly to the Grassroots organizations include:

-The Immigrant Family Service Institute.

-Haitian Americans United Inc.


-Family Action Network Movement

-Association of Haitian Women in Boston

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