JERSEY CITY -- It's been over a week since a devastating earthquake hit the island of Haiti, but people across Jersey City have been doing all they can to help those affected.
Haitian native and Jersey City businesswoman Marie Day has been collecting medical supplies, food, and other items at her office at 160 Ocean Ave. since Jan. 13, the day after the earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince. On Saturday, the items collected by Day were to be picked up from her office by representatives of the Ambulatory Surgical Center in Union, and they in turn will be brought directly to Haiti according to Day.
Day, whose mother is among many relatives still living in Haiti, said her mom survived but is waiting to hear on the status of other relatives who are still missing.
"I thank God that she is alive and I pray for the safety of my cousins and others," Day said. "I'll do whatever I can to help my people."
Day plans to make a trip to Haiti in the next few weeks to see up-close the damage wrought upon her homeland. As of this past Friday, estimates from the Red Cross and the Haitian government are that 70,000 to 100,000 are feared dead while up to three million Haitians have been displaced from their homes. The US-based medical aid group Partners in Health has warned that as many as 20,000 Haitians are dying daily while, ironically, supplies from all over the world are only reaching few people and being held up at the national airport.
Also doing their part to help locally is the local gospel group, the The Velazquez Family Singers (VFS), who on Saturday will record a CD to raise money for Haitian relief efforts. The recording is being done at the 9 Lives Studio on Van Wagenen Avenue near the city's Journal Square area. 9 Lives owner Nicola Stemmer jumped on board without hesitation to produce the CD.
"I feel honored to be part of something like this, to help in a good cause," Stemmer said.
And City Hall is giving a hand for the Haiti cause with the front page of the city's website, www.cityofjerseycity.com, set up to show the local vendors and organizations that are raising money and awareness.
Those looking to donate items in Jersey City can do so at the following locations: the Church of Jesus Christ at 2030 Kennedy Boulevard - (201) 332-6057, the D&J Institute Career Center Health Training School at 160 Ocean Avenue - (201) 324-0085 and
Extra Supermarket at 360 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. c/o Minnie Torres - (201) 892-9249. - RK