As we well know, the Florida coast (along with many other regions) was recently hit by Hurricane Matthew. The neighborhoods in the Jax Beach areas took the brunt of the hit. Thankfully, there has not been any irreversible damage reported. It has been awesome to see how locals have rallied together to help their neighbors with cleanup. This is one of the reasons many reasons I love the people of Jacksonville. It is wonderful to see the good in people. Jax Beach PD, and Jax Beach Fire and Rescue, along with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office did a great job of keeping up with calls, and ensuring safety. Beaches Energy stayed in touch with their consumers, and worked around the clock to provide power. I am so thankful to be part of a community of people who are willing to roll up their sleeves to help their neighbors.
Jacksonville Beach News voanews.com firstcoastnews.com
Unfortunately, our neighbors in St. Augustine were not so lucky. Many homes were impacted, as well as businesses. A family had been interviewed in a recent article written by Zachary T. Sampson for the Tampa Bay Times. These St. Augustine locals owned Matanzas Inlet Restaurant, which Hurricane Matthew claimed. In the interview, the owner, Joan Galasso said something that really hit me. She stated that the hardest part was telling their fifteen employees that they were out of work. To see a family lose their business, and their main concern is for their employees, is something that is difficult to swallow. Thousands of people are working around the clock to bring St. Augustine back to its former glory, and I have no doubt that it will soon be the gorgeous, bustling old city that it was before Matthew swept through. You can check out the previous article I mentioned at:
chicagotribune.com tampabay.com firstcoastnews.com
I have been saddened, however to see the lack of media attention to the devastation that Haiti was left with. Over 1.5 million people were effected by Matthew. I recently read that the death toll in Haiti has topped 1,000. These are mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brother, aunts, friends, cousins, etc., and the crisis does not stop there. According to NBC news, over 90% of this nation’s crops were completely wiped out. Another rising issue is the increase in Cholera patients. Cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea and dehydration if left untreated. Unfortunately, Haiti does not have the means to treat all of these patients, so the number of Cholera cases are climbing. Paul Edouarzin, a United Nations Environmental Program employee stated that in terms of environmental and agricultural destruction, Matthew has had an even more devastating impact than the earthquake in 2010, which Haiti has yet to recover from.
wcvb.com miamiherald.com theguardian.com
What can we do? Fortunately, U.S. Marines have been delivering food to these victims, but there is so much more we can do. I have seen firsthand with our Jacksonville and St. Augustine neighbors, what can be done when people come together to protect and heal their fellow citizens. I am aware that plenty of us are shelling out money, time, and energy to clean up what has been left by Matthew in our own neighborhoods, but I encourage you to give, give, give.
A friend of mine somewhat recently spent an extended amount of time in Haiti, in order to bring her beautiful daughter back home to the United States. I know she has a Heart for Haiti, so I reached out to her in order to provide you with the best ways to donate, to ensure all of what you send directly reaches its destination.
Here are some links to a few ways you can help:
^^ (This Go Fund Me account was established by “Reach out to Haiti”, a non-profit missionary program. All proceeds go to Ruuska, which is where my friend resided while in Haiti.)
Other helpful links are as follows:
Written By: Ashton McKee (Property By Ford)