Area non-profits mobilize to help earthquake victims in Haiti

Days after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, various area non-profit agencies are working to identify needs and resources to implement disaster assistance to the small island nation as Tropical Depression Grace looms in the in the Caribbean Sea.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Saturday was centered just more than eight miles south-southeast of Petit Troup de Nippes, and was widely felt across the region including all of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) and the islands of Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, with estimates of more than 1 million people exposed to very strong or severe shaking levels.

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The earthquake occurred 78 miles west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 6.2 miles. According to media reports, at least 700 people are dead more than 1,800 have been injured in addition to the destruction of hundreds of homes.

Matthew 25: Ministries, a nonprofit located between Dayton and Cincinnati which has been shipping humanitarian assistance to Haiti since 1998, was already mobilizing its efforts to continue to ship food, supplies and medical teams to country. The humanitarian organization regularly ships supplies to its mission and clinic in Haiti.

Tim Mettey, CEO of Matthew 25: Ministries, said there was already one shipment by sea en route to Haiti before the earthquake and another will be coming soon.

“In Haiti, we’re a first responder and a recovery operation,” Mettey said. “Our team is making sure family and friends are safe. We’re taking food and medicine to them and sending a medical team out.”

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Mettey said Matthew 25 has other partners there helping with relief and disaster efforts and he has been in contact with people in Haiti.

Mettey was told by a friend there that it’s “pretty horrible and there is lots of death and destruction.”

“A dear friend of mine said he could not get to his house because the roads are impassible,” he said. “It’s hard to try and clear paths and roads so people can find their loved ones who may be trapped or dead.”

Mettey said during Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, Matthew 25: sent out 30 to 40 truckloads of supplies to help in the relief effort to help take care of people with their daily needs.

He said the organization has shipped food, supplies and medicine to 40 countries around the world and to every every state in the United States. Matthew 25: works with 3,300 partners and hospitals around the world. Mettey said Matthew 25: ships out about 900 truck loads of relief supplies a year.

When asked how people can help, Mettey said, “people can donate; drop off products; volunteer; and pray.”

Lynne Gump, executive director of the Miami Valley Red Cross, said Haitian Red Cross staff and volunteers are responding alongside local authorities as well as other humanitarian organizations to help with first aid, search-and-rescue operations and sheltering efforts throughout the affected region.

Gump said the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network has activated its emergency response system and is identifying urgent needs on the ground.

“Our hearts go out to them,” she said.

Ohio Task Force 1 will not be responding to assist search and rescue efforts in Haiti, according to Program Manager Evan Schumann.

He said there are two U.S. task forces that are sent on international assignments and one of them, Virginia Task Force 1/USA 1, has already arrived in Haiti. That unit is based in Fairfax, Va.

Schumann said the international units are deployed through the U.S. Department of State instead of the Federal Emergency Management Administration. He said the other international unit, California Task Force 2/USA 2 is based in the Los Angeles area has been stood down as of early Monday afternoon.


Matthew 25 is requesting donations of the following types of items to supplement existing supplies, for restocking during their response to the Haiti Earthquake, and for future distributions:

  • Monetary donations: Donate online or mail checks to Matthew 25: Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242 (100% of donated funds designated for Haiti Earthquake Relief will be used for the purpose intended)
  • Cases of bottled water (12- and 24- count)
  • Personal care products: Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, lotion, etc.
  • Cleaning supplies: Laundry detergents, general cleaner, sponges, bleach (powdered form is preferred), mops, scrub brushes, buckets, rubber gloves, etc.
  • Paper products: Toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
  • Baby and infant supplies: Diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, baby wash, baby shampoo, baby lotion, etc.
  • First-aid items: Bandages, gauze, pads, first aid tape, antiseptic creams, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, latex gloves, instant cold packs, etc.

SOURCE: Matthew 25: Ministries

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