Offensive football coach helps with Haiti

Florida A&M offensive football coach Edwin Pata has created a goal for the football team with hopes of contributing to those that suffered losses in the Haiti tragedy. The name of the drive is 95,000 Pounds of Haiti Relief. The goal is to raise 95,000 pounds of food, water and other supplies for the Haiti earthquake survivors.

As of Feb. 8, Pata, along with other members of athletics have already raised 1,000 pounds. The first shipment was sent out on Feb. 15.

Pata said he felt a sense of obligation after hearing about the tragedy.

“My parents are from Haiti, and I have other family living there as well. My father owns a home there, which did suffer some damages,” Pata said.

Pata said the drive known as “95,000 Pounds of Haiti Relief” is to honor the memory of his brother Bryan Pata.

“Before Bryan lost his life to a fatal gun shooting in 2006, he served as a football player for the University of Miami. He wore number 95. All is for him and the greater good of mankind,” Pata said.

Pata is encouraging the students and others in Tallahassee to bring canned goods, bottled waters and shoes to the field house. Pata also ask that volunteers come Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Pata is also giving out community service hours.

“Some football players are bringing forms over and I have filled out the appropriate responses. Each school or department has a form that the students can bring to me so that I can fill it out,” said Pata.

Pata has not yet reached his goal of 95,000 pounds.

However, as of Apr. 8th, Pata, the football team, Bethel AME, Dr. Ammons and many others in the Tallahassee community have contributed 30,000 pounds to the 95,000 pounds of Haiti Relief.

Pata said it took two months to gather the 30,000 pounds. The last shipment was sent out on March 15.

“Items are stored after they are received then they are taken to Hope Worldwide, a non-profit organization for shipping,” he said.

He does not plan to have another shipment sent out, because donations have slowed down tremendously and it is becoming costly to ship the items requested.

However, Pata does have plans of raising money.

“Localized food sales, concerts, news coverage should motivate people to donate money,” Pata said. “People have a tendency to forget or lock things away in memory.”

He sends out his message in hopes of receiving help to be able to contribute to those in Haiti.