Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti, devastating much of its shores. The Category-4 hurricane, with winds estimated up to 230km/hr (145 mph), killed more than 1,000 people. It was the deadliest natural disaster to strike on a Caribbean country since the 2010 earthquake, which was also in Haiti.
Since this tragedy, organizations on the campus of Florida A&M University, like the Haitian Cultural Club, have extended their hands to the victims of this hurricane. Third-year pre-physical therapy student from Atlanta, Ga. Desianna Bell said the organization is now accepting canned goods and medicine to donate to the victims in Haiti.
“We have drives going on every Wednesday at FSU where people can drop off canned goods, baby formula, medicine and clothes,” Bell said.
HCC was founded on FAMU’s campus in 1988 by student Louis Marcelus, with chapters at Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University.
Haiti has a history of natural disasters, with the most recent and vicious coming in January 12, 2010 with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, killing between the number of 46,000 to 316,000 people.
Haiti is also dealing with a major cholera outbreak, which was plaguing the country before the hurricane made shore. The outbreak has killed more than 10,000 people according to CNN, from gathered information from the United Nations. There were mass burials because the bodies started decomposing along the streets and in the rubbage.
Hurricane Matthew has also delayed the upcoming presidential election in Haiti, which is set to be rescheduled for the Nov. 20.
Third-year business administration student from Miami, Fla. DonDiego Maurice feels it’s his duty to help those in need.
“It’s our job to help spread the love and awareness about Haiti,” Maurice said. “Not just Haiti but other island areas that are affected.”
Vice president of HCC Tamera Luma, a fourth-year health science major from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. said HCC was collecting items to send to Haiti before the hurricane.
“Before the hurricane struck, we were always collecting stuff to send to Haiti,” Luma said. “We are partnering with SGA of FAMU, Sigma Gamma Rho from FSU and Recycle Without Borders. We will be collecting until Nov. 1. We basically give them the stuff, and they are responsible for getting it to Haiti.”
Haiti has more than 1.4 million people in need of emergency aid with the UN making a pledge of $120 million in aid.
Students, faculty, and staff can also contribute to relief efforts by dropping off their items at Baptist Collegiate Ministry, located by McGuin on the campus of FAMU, and also at Recycle Without Borders. Students who are interested in joining HCC can join in the Fall and Spring semesters: http://haitiancc.weebly.com and to make donations, go to http://recyclewithoutborders.com.