Efforts continue to aid Caribbean hurricane victims

Caribbean nationals and friends in Central Florida have collected almost $20,000 to aid people from several Caribbean islands that were impacted by Hurricane Ivan last September.

A donation of $5,000 will go towards assisting victims in Jamaica. “This will aid in the purchase and shipping of medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and the Red Cross for distribution across the island,” says Hyacinth Bulgin, president of the Jamaica American Association of Central Florida.

Presentation of checks were made to Caribbean Consul Generals representing those countries in the USA, at the recent Conference of Heads of Caribbean Organizations of Central Florida held in Orlando.

Accepting the check for Jamaica was Consul General Ricardo Allicock, Chair of the Caribbean Consular Corp in South Florida, who praised the community for its overwhelming support.

Other consul generals receiving checks were Alma Adams of Bahamas, Richard Nixon of Grenada, and Pierre Heurtelou of Haiti.

Bulgin, in an interview with JIS, said that the collective efforts of the community had resulted in donations of hospital beds, x-ray machines, medical equipment and supplies, clothing and food. Shipments of those contributions were expected to arrive in the islands soon.

The fundraising campaign began in October last year, immediately following the devastation to the region. Bulgin said that several individuals and organizations had rallied their support in helping victims in the recovery efforts.

Along with the several Caribbean organizations in Central Florida and surrounding communities, the collection drive also included donations from the Josh McDowell Christian Ministries, Girl Scouts of Shiloah, Devry University Orlando, and Carib Sun newspaper.

Approximately 20 Caribbean community associations in the Central Florida area were represented at the first joint meeting, as well as officials from the Caribbean Consular Corp and County and City commissioners from the State of Florida.

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