Bronxites Come Together for Caribbean Hurricane Relief Efforts

Bronxites Come Together for Caribbean Hurricane Relief Efforts
by David Greene

On an unseasonably warm September day, local elected officials joined with several clergy leaders in announcing an effort to collect needed food, clothing and baby supplies for those island nations who were impacted by Hurricane’s Irma, Jose and Maria– that have all but destroyed many of the Caribbean islands.

Councilman Andy King joined Congressman Eliot Engel on the steps of the Crawford Memorial United Baptist Church, located on White Plains Road in the Williamsbridge section on Sunday, September 24. The two men were joined by Loreen Bannis-Roberts, who had just marked her first year as Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations, as they were surrounded by members of the local clergy, union members and others in announcing the drive.

 Loreen Bannis-Roberts, the United Nations Ambassador to the island nation of Dominica is flanked by Councilman Andy King (left) and Congressman Eliot Engel (right) during announcement of food and clothing drive.--Photo by David Greene

Loreen Bannis-Roberts, the United Nations Ambassador to the island nation of Dominica is flanked by Councilman Andy King (left) and Congressman Eliot Engel (right) during announcement of food and clothing drive.–Photo by David Greene

King told reporters, “Today we stand here as a united community, a united neighborhood to offer support, relief, words of encouragement and prayer for all of our brothers and sisters who are enduring and are suffering during this hurricane season in the Caribbean.”

King, who’s own wife and in-laws come from the Island of Dominica, continued, “We stand here today as unproud people under God’s given sun, to do all that we can to help our brothers and sisters who have suffered the wrath of Irma, Jose, Maria and whatever storms that are brewing.”

Explaining his own family’s plight, King added, “We just gained information this morning, the house is still standing, but 90% of the town has been destroyed.” He added that many of the islands 72,000 residents remain missing.

Councilman Andy King and Congressman Eliot Engel outside of the Crawford Memorial United Baptist Church on White Plains Road on Sunday.--Photo by David Greene

Councilman Andy King and Congressman Eliot Engel outside of the Crawford Memorial United Baptist Church on White Plains Road on Sunday.–Photo by David Greene

Congressman Engel arrived with a small donation of clothing, telling the crowd, “If everybody does his or hers part, it will be amazing to see how much we can do.”

Engel continued, “When we talk about the Western Hemisphere, the Caribbean Islands are never forgotten. We’re always there in terms of U.S. aid and U.S. help. and there are so many ties in this neighborhood, as Andy mentioned, has so many ties to the Caribbean. That’s what makes America great. There are so many different Americans from all over the world and bringing their skills to this country.”

“When we needed help,” Engel concluded, “when we had Hurricane Sandy a lot of people helped us, and I want to tell you to get money from Congress is very hard and some of those people didn’t want to help us. When Texas recently got into trouble, the same people who didn’t want to help us in New York, my colleagues were asking us for money for Texas. I thought it was a bit ironic.”

Congressman Eliot Engel drops off needed clothing headed for Caribbean hurricane victims.--Photo by David Greene

Congressman Eliot Engel drops off needed clothing headed for Caribbean hurricane victims.–Photo by David Greene

Ambassador Roberts began telling the crowd, “I am really going through mixed emotions. I can simply say it’s a pleasure to be here, but under difficult circumstances.” She continued, “We pride ourselves in being known as the nature island of the Caribbean, and I dare say the world. Today, no green. Hurricane Maria has left us in total shambles.”

Roberts explained, “We have a country that is in dire need of everything that the human being needs to survive. We pride ourselves in having 365 rivers and today the world has to send us bottled water to drink.” Roberts added that 98% of the housing stock on the island has been destroyed and the death toll on the island stands at 45, with many still missing.

Roberts reiterated, “We need your help.”

Those wishing to donate food and clothing can do so until Friday, September 29, and everything collected will be shipped to those island nations effected, the following day.

WHAT TO DONATE

Canned food
gently worn clothing
shoes
blankets
water
roofing materials
lumber
plywood
windows
doors
nails
roofing screws
generators
chain saws
gas
oil
fuel
communications equipment
plastic sheeting
hygiene kits
comfort kids
medicine
medical supplies
baby supplies
baby formula
baby food
baby wipes
diapers
adult pampers
water purification kits
energy biscuits
pots
mattresses
portable stoves
flashlights
batteries
solar lanterns
collapsible water containers

DROP OFF LOCATIONS
1) Crawford Memorial United Baptist Church – 3757 White Plains Road – (718) 655-0211
2) Office of Councilman Andy King – 940 East Gun Hill Road – (718) 684-5509
3) Office of Councilman Andy King – 177 Dreiser Loop, Room 153
4) NYPD’s 47th Precinct – 4111 Laconia Avenue – (718) 920-1211
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