Local organizations fundraise, gather donations to help Haitian victims of Hurricane Matthew

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Local groups are rallying together to help those most affected by Hurricane Matthew, including the country of Haiti.

It’s been one week since Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti. Over 900 people died, and thousands more were injured.

Local organizations are continuing to do their part to help with relief efforts.

Melody Burns hears it all the time.

“Wow, we didn’t know you guys existed, and we didn’t know you were reaching out to other organizations,” she said.

Burns works with Jezreel International in Colonie. The non-profit helps people in need.

“Well, it’s rewarding to do it, but it’s also our role,” she said. “It’s not the government’s role to do that. It’s our role to do that to help our fellow man.”

As the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew are still being felt in Haiti, Burns and her team are working together to help.

“They are boxing things up,” she explained. “Whether its things they need, like medical items, or just clothes. The basic necessities and shipping them to Haiti.”

Jezreel isn’t the only local organization reaching out. At Recovery Sports Bar in Troy, the To Love a Child charity hosted its own fundraiser for Haiti. To Love a Child runs an orphanage on the Caribbean island.

Fifteen percent of the food ordered on Wednesday will be donated to relief efforts.

“The helpfulness of Americans is something we must remember and celebrate, but we have to use our good fortune to help,” Dawn Weinraub said.

“I believe that everyone here should take that first step forward to help somewhere,” To Love a Child Executive Director Cindy Schmel said. “Whether it’s Haiti, here in the United States, Africa. Just as long as we try to help somewhere.”

Schmel plans to fly to Haiti with her team.

“It feels wonderful, and it’s going to be even more wonderful after we return from Haiti and can show pictures how the proceeds of this event has helped people there,” she said.

The Capital Region and Haiti may be miles apart, but thanks to help from Jezreel International and To Love a Child, the gap isn’t as big as it might seem.

To learn more or donate, visit the Jezreel International website.

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