WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Becky Graves started Haiti Awake in 2014 when she realized that the country needed a helping hand with community, economic, and church ministry development.
The organization was on the ground in Haiti to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, where they formed relationships with many of the local people.
After this weekend’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Graves and her staff are struggling to get in contact with many of those people they know in the Southern peninsula, where most of the damage from the earthquake occurred. “We’ve been trying to contact, for example, the pastor of the church where we did the roof after Matthew — we can’t find him. That could be just because he hasn’t been able to charge his phone. But we don’t know. There’s certain people that — we can’t find them. We have to anticipate that possibly some people we know did not survive this earthquake,” said Graves, founder and executive director of Haiti Awake.
While they can’t get in contact with many people, they will find out just how bad the earthquake was very soon. “Tomorrow our ground director, along with one of our staff members, whose family lives out there, and another staff — or former staff — member who lives there, they’re going to go to the Southern peninsula to do a first-hand assessment so we can figure out what is the best plan of action for Haiti Awake,” said Graves.
Graves noted that the trip they will make tomorrow from Port-Au-Prince to parts of the Southern peninsula is not an easy one due to the poverty and gang violence in between.
Graves is still in Wilmington, but hopes to be on the ground in Haiti by the end of the week so that her team can get to work.
For now, the organization will support Haitian people by buying staples, like oil, rice, and beans to make sure that victims are fed.
If you would like to help, you can donate online. Click here.
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