Brooklyn politician organizes drive to assist hurricane-hit Caribbean

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D–Crown Heights) announces the launching of the Caribbean Relief Project at the Caribbean Women’s Health Association in East Flatbush on Oct. 3.
Photo by Jason Speakman

It’s a care package for the Caribbean.

Brooklynites seeking to assist those recovering from hurricanes that devastated the region’s islands last month can now donate supplies locally as part of an initiative debuted by a Kings County state senator on Tuesday. Several community groups united to launch the Caribbean Relief Project, which includes drop-off sites where residents can bring material in order to get them to people struggling in the storms’ aftermath, according to the politician.

“We are in a humanitarian crisis. Hurricanes have caused devastation and suffering across the region and that’s why we’re mobilizing today, across all neighborhoods, to bring aid to these victims,” said state Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D–Crown Heights). “This partnership will rely on us and with the neighborhood collection sites, residents can drop donations.”

The damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria deeply affects the borough, which is home to a massive population of immigrants from the Caribbean, Hamilton said.

“This crisis hits close to home for friends and neighbors across Brooklyn,” he said. “Many of us have backgrounds from the region.”

Organizers are requesting donations of nonperishable food, diapers, feminine hygiene products, other toiletries, and batteries, and will send weekly shipments of supplies to affected Caribbean islands, including British, Dutch, and French territories, according to Hamilton. They include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Turks and Caicos, and the United States Virgin Islands.

But contributions are not relegated to certain items, according to one organizer, who said some of those affected lost all of their possessions.

“Besides clothes and those things, people have lost everything, so they may need a blanket, a sheet, or a pillowcase — whatever you have and you are able to donate, bring it,” said Audrey Caesar.

Partnering organizations and drop-off locations include:

• Office of state Sen. Jesse Hamilton at 1669 Bedford Ave. near Montgomery Street

• Mount Zion Church of God at 203 E. 37th St. between Linden Boulevard and Church Avenue

• St. Francis De Sales School for the Deaf at 260 Eastern Pkwy. between Classon and Franklin avenues

• Caribbean Women’s Health Association at 3512 Church Ave. between E. 35th Street and Brooklyn Avenue

• PS 92 at 601 Parkside Ave. between Bedford and Rogers avenues

• West Indian American Day Carnival Association at 325 Rogers Ave. between Montgomery Street and Sullivan Place

• Haitian-American Community Coalition at 3807-3809 Church Ave. between E. 38th and E. 39th streets

• Medgar Evers College at 1650 Bedford Ave. between Crown and Montgomery streets

State Sen. Hamilton with members from the Caribbean Women’s Health Association, West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Haitian American Community Coaltition, Medgar Evers college, P.S. 92, and more. These organizations and instituions will be drop-off locations for the relief project.
Photo by Jason Speakman

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