Garry Pierre-Pierre, Haitian-born publisher of the Brooklyn-based Haitian Times (and a former NY Times reporter), is in Port-Au-Prince both reporting and helping directly. If you are inclined to contribute to the rescue effort, you can envision that even a modest donation to Garry’s effort will help individual Haitians NOW.
Please read this memo is from Michelle Rea of the New York Press Association. Contribute if you can — knowing that your aid will help people who logically might be viewed as beyond help.
Garry Pierre-Pierre called me Wednesday morning to tell me he was taking a group of reporters to Haiti to report back to Haitian readers in New York, about the situation in Haiti following Tuesday night’s catastrophic earth quake.…
Garry and his group flew into the Dominican Republic because air traffic into Haiti is restricted to rescue mission. They rented a van and then went shopping for sleeping bags, flashlights, batteries, food and water. They drove to Haiti (slightly more than one hour).
Garry reports that Haiti is one big homeless shelter that smells like a giant funeral home. Everybody – including journalists – is sleeping in the streets. There are no bathrooms. There is no food. There is no water. Garry told me that people throw themselves in front of his van or jump out and pound on it to stop, begging for help, food and water. They won’t allow the van to pass until the journalists give them food and water. He also told me he is worried about the sanitation issues – rotting corpses, no bathrooms, etc.
Garry said there is no communication, cell service, Internet access or phone service in Haiti so his group is commuting back and forth between Haiti and the Dominican Republic several times a day. They travel to Haiti, get their stories, drive back to the DR to file them and to buy more food. They parcel out the food and water on their drive back to Haiti – and then return to the DR. The working journalists have banded together to create a large Internet café in the DR where they all go to file their stories.
Garry estimates that in less than 24 hours he has spent more than $2,000 on food, water and gas. He also reports that back home in Brooklyn the Haitian community is desperate for information about family members in Haiti.…
NYPA has established a fund to help Garry in Haiti. We can only send him money via Western Union and he doesn’t want to carry much money at one time, so our plan is to wire him money several times a day, so he can shop for food and water each time he returns to the Dominican Republic. If you would like to contribute to this effort, you may call Laurel at NYPA – 518 464 6483 and give her a credit card number and tell her the amount you want to contribute, or you can mail a check payable to NYPA – Haiti Relief Fund. Please mail your check to NYPA, 1681 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203 Attn: Carol Zalewski…
Finally, Garry found his family; they’re alive and their house was not destroyed. He also found Darlie Gervais’ father (Darlie is Garry’s GM in Brooklyn). His home was destroyed, but he was not injured. He is 80 and a diabetic – with no supplies – so Garry is trying to address that.
Thanks in advance for your support. This is one more example of why newspapers matter – connecting communities and telling peoples’ stories during the most desperate of times.
Michelle K. Rea
New York Press Association/New York Press Service
1681 Western Avenue
Albany, New York 12203