After Tropical Storm Erika ripped through the small island of Dominica last week, roads were rendered impassable, homes were destroyed and people were left without basic supplies, including food and water.
Now people from the island living in South Florida have rallied to collect emergency supplies and ship them to the island nation, where at least 20 people were killed and 50 people were unaccounted for.
“It is a catastrophe,” said Alex Bruno, the president of Erika Diaspora Relief, which was created to help the Caribbean island of about 100,000 people. “They need immediate relief.”
Bruno said there are about 10,000 people in South Florida from Dominica, which is known for its rivers, mountains and lush greenery.
“This is the worst natural disaster that has hit the island,” he said. “People lost everything.”
Bruno said the plan is to ship large containers by boat — the airport was destroyed — carrying water, food, medical supplies, toiletries, sheets, towels, diapers and formula, flashlights, batteries, candles and all other hurricane supplies. The first shipment is scheduled for Thursday.
Collection sites have been set up around South Florida at various businesses and homes, Bruno said.
“We are asking the community for help,” he said. “The island was destroyed and they need all the help they can get.”
How to help
▪ Donations of water, food, medical supplies, toiletries, sheets, towels, wash cloths, adult diapers, baby diapers and formula, flashlights, batteries, candles, and all other hurricane supplies can be dropped off at 2449 Rodman St. in Hollywood, 2020 NW 187 Terr. in Miami Gardens and 16155 SW 117th Ave., B-19, in Miami.
Financial donations can be made to The Caribbean Community Relief Fund, care of the Miami Foundation. Donations can be made via checks payable to “The Miami Foundation” (Memo: “The Caribbean Community Relief Fund”, 40 Northwest Third St., Suite 305, Miami, FL 33128; Via Credit Card at Direct Link: Visit https://goo.gl/TmvOkB and submit payment through The Miami Foundation website. Call 305-371-2711.
For more information on Erika Diaspora Relief, call Alex Bruno at 561-577-6742 or visit https://www.facebook.com/erikadiasporarelief.