'We haven't had our spirit broken.' Local nonprofit raising money to help Haiti

Haiti Earthquake
Posted at 5:43 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 18:22:18-04

(WXYZ) — The people of Haiti are in desperate need of help after being hit by a powerful earthquake last weekend.

The Haitian Network Group of Detroit (HGND) is hoping to send relief directly to the country, which has already been battered by political unrest.

Right now, board members are looking for monetary donations. Treasure Shirley Alce says it's logistically too difficult to send clothing or food.

"That's what they need, is money that this time," said Alce. "There are many organizations on the ground sending people to assist with surgeries, but they need to buy the equipment."

Alce says the money will go to FOKAL, an organization based in Haiti with a proven track record spanning over 26 years. They've also identified two hospitals in affected areas in dire need of medical supplies.

"We as an organization here especially for having a very small Haitian community, we are very resourceful in that sense," said Alce.

The videos of earthquake-stricken Haiti are hard to watch even for someone with no personal connection to the country.

Regine Beauboeuf grew up in Les Cayes, an area not too far from where the earthquake hit.

She says the streets she grew up on are completely in ruins.

"To see the destruction, I see my childhood disappear, that's the feeling," said Beauboeuf. "It's a feeling of great loss."

Officials say more than 2,100 people are dead and tens of thousands are homeless.

Beaubouf's says one of her cousins, who still lives in Haiti, has been sleeping in a tent.

"He is lucky to only have lost his home not everybody has been so lucky," said Beauboeuf's.

HGND has organized relief efforts before. Back in 2010 when Haiti was hit by the last earthquake they sent people to deliver supplies.

They say the country was still recovering when this earthquake hit.

"So far we haven't had our spirit broken," said Beaubouef, "and I am hoping that this series of unfortunate events do not continue to the point where we cannot recover before the next one happens."

HGND says the Detroit community has already rallied behind them and any donations, no matter how small can make a difference.

"We are trying to address not just the short-term problem but to see if what we are doing can make a difference in the long term," said Beaubouef.

You can donate directly through their website. Click here: