Local Faithful Send Container of Help, Hope to Haiti

Philadelphia, PA

By Gina Christian, Originally Published by Catholic Philly

(Re-posted with permission)

Father Eugène Almonor (front row, second right), chaplain of the archdiocesan Haitian Apostolate, spearheaded a recent donation drive to collect essential items for his native Haiti, which has been battered by multiple natural disasters and sociopolitical crises. (Sister Gertrude Borres, RA)

As the U.S. government urges its citizens to leave Haiti due to spiraling instability, area Catholics are sending a container of badly needed goods to the beleaguered Caribbean nation.

On Nov. 6, some 10 members of the local Haitian Catholic community loaded an array of medical supplies, clothing, non-perishable food, toiletries and basic furniture into a 20-foot sea container for shipment to Port-au-Prince.

The archdiocesan Haitian Apostolate began collecting the items in mid-September as part of a donation drive at two Philadelphia parishes, St. William and St. Barbara, both home to the area’s 3,000 some Haitian Catholic community members.

Also coordinating the initiative were the archdiocesan Office for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees and Catholic Social Services (CSS), with the latter agency covering the estimated $7,000 in ocean shipping costs for the container.

Archdiocesan Nutritional Development Services provided over 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food items such as rice, shelf-stable milk, beans and peanut butter.

CSS also supplied diapers and feminine hygiene products, while the agency’s Casa del Carmen Family Service Center, based in North Philadelphia, contributed more than 100 pairs of flip flops.

Every single contribution is desperately needed, said Haitian Apostolate chaplain Father Eugène Almonor, a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate (OMI) and a native of Haiti.

Now in residence at St. William Parish in Philadelphia, Father Almonor said that conditions in his homeland are extremely dire.

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