Friday, October 3, 2008

Delray,Fl. Police And School Join Forces To Help Haitians


With every hour, the pile of supplies for the storm-ravaged country of Haiti grew taller at the Delray Beach Police Department.

Then, the goods disappeared and a new pile started.

Twice a week, the much-needed supplies of everything from baby food to over-the-counter medications has been transported to Toussaint L'Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice, 1325 Gateway Blvd. in Boynton Beach. There, high school students separate, organize and pack the supplies into boxes. Teacher Michelle Ferry's community service class has been taken over by piles of canned goods, dry foods, baby wipes, peanut butter, sanitary and personal hygiene items, diapers, cleaning products and first-aid supplies. Ferry has taken over the role of Haitian relief coordinator at the school.

"Three to four days a week the community service class has been packaging items," Ferry said.

So far, two shipping containers have been filled and are due to arrive in St. Marc Oct. 13. Each shipping container costs $4,000 to send to Haiti. Monarch Shipping Lines, Inc. has donated the containers, the use of their ship "The Monarch Queen" and all associated fees that come with shipping.

"St. Marc is halfway between Gonaives, and Port-au-Prince," said native Haitian Joseph Bernadel, chief operations officer and co-founder of Toussaint L'Ouverture High School.

He has been working with the mayor of Port-au-Prince and setting up security in Haiti to make sure the goods get to those hardest hit in St. Marc.

"We've already filled two shipping containers. In Palm Beach County, everybody is helping out regardless of race — white, African-Americans, Haitians and Hispanics. We're getting more stuff from people that aren't Haitian," Bernadel said.

Donated items can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Delray Beach Police Department, 300 W. Atlantic Ave. Donations will be collected through Oct. 10.

Call Officer Jeff Messer at 561-243-7841 or Officer Andy Arena at 561-243-7873.

For information, call Toussaint L'Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice at 561-495-9991.

Source: Sun-Sentinel.Com

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