Groups rally to send help to Haiti

By Miren Hurtado
Story published in Dewsbury Reporter on 29 January 2010
Images: Dewsbury Reporter

The earthquake in Haiti earlier this month led to horrendous scenes of devastation which have dominated news coverage. A massive fundraising campaign is now under way with many charities appealing for money to help the survivors rebuild their lives. Miren Hurtado looked at what’s happening locally.

2010_02_20_Groups rally to send help to Haiti_Haiti Victim
Image: Haiti victim.

Charities, churches and mosques are all doing their bit to help Haiti earthquake victims. Money from Oxfam shops in Mirfield and Cleckheaton is going directly to the appeal and managers say donations have increased over the last few days. In Mirfield donations have ranged from beds and clothes to cash. Susan Deakin, from the shop, said: “We are really pleased with the response of the local people over the past few days.

The cash donations are directly to the Haiti appeal. There is an ongoing appeal for donations.”

In Cleckheaton customers have been asking Oxfam manager Anna Alderson how they can help. She said: “A cash donation to the DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee) appeal is the most effective way to help, but we can make use of your unwanted goods.

“We need good quality clothes, shoes, accessories, homewares and books that we could sell in our shop to raise funds for Oxfam’s life saving work.”

Churches and mosques have also been doing their bit with special collections at services. The Rev Canon Kevin Partington, from Dewsbury Minster, said: “Last Sunday morning we held a collection across the churches in Dewsbury.

That evening Dewsbury Minster hosted an ecumenical service for all the Christians across the town. All the money raised through these two events was for victims of the Haiti earthquake.”

Snowdon Street mosque in Batley has raised more than 2,200 pounds for the people of Haiti which will be donated to three separate Haiti aid funds run by Muslim Aid, the Ummah Welfare Trust and Batley’s Indian Muslim Welfare Society. Akooji Badat, who helped to collect the money, said: “I would like to thank everybody who took part and say keep up the good work.”

The Inner 9 Rotary group which includes Batley, Birstall Luddites, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury, Mirfield and Heckmondwike Rotary clubs, has already sent 8,000 pounds for Rotaru Shelter Boxes for the Haiti disaster. Local assistant governor Keith Davison said: “We know that a number of boxes have already reached the area and some have been set up to use as a hospital.”

2010_02_20_Groups rally to send help to Haiti_Haiti Kit

The boxes include vitals such as a 10-person tent, water purification sets, blankets, tool kits and children’s crayons. Mr Davison said: “The best we can do at the moment as the tragedy unfolds is to raise funds to give the people a better chance of survival in the aftermath.”

Individuals are also trying to help. Dewsbury children’s entertainer Joy Wilson runs events and parties company JinJangJooJong.co.uk. She said: “If anyone books a February party with me I will donate half the proceeds of my fee to Haiti.

I really wanted to do something but I am financially stretched at the moment so partnering in this way with others would be a win-win situation.”

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