Aug. 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Local leaders will host a vigil in Queens Village tonight for the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is hosting the vigil alongside Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP) and Assembly Member Clyde Vanel at 8 p.m. outside the nonprofit’s headquarters at 209-5 Jamaica Ave.
The vigil will remember the 2,000 people who were killed—as well as the thousands left homeless—by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday, Aug. 14.
“From natural disasters to political turmoil, Haiti has been dealt blow after blow in recent years, but the resolve of the Haitian people and our Haitian American community is unmatched,” Richards said in a statement. “In the wake of this destructive earthquake, Queens stands ready to offer a helping hand to our Caribbean neighbors in their time of need.”
Elected officials, clergy members and community leaders will speak at the vigil, which is happening rain or shine.
“We are grateful for the well-wishes and support from all that have reached out,” said Vanel, who is a member of the National Haitian Elected Officials Network and child of Haitian immigrants. “The Haitian-American community is grateful for the outreach and support from the wider Queens community.”
Richards has also launched an earthquake donation drive for those in Haiti.
His office is accepting donations of bottled water, non-perishable food, personal care products, toiletries and feminine hygiene products at Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens. Donations can be dropped off in a box located in the lobby next to the security desk through Sept. 22.
For those who wish to donate financially, donations can be made to four different organizations Ayiti Community Trust, Capracare Haiti, Hope for Haiti and Partners in Health. The organizations were recommended by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
The executive director of HAUP thanked New Yorkers for their support.
“My heartfelt gratitude to the friends and partners of the Haitian people who continue to reach out in so many big and small ways in support, empathy and collaboration,” Executive Director Elsie Saint Louis said.
“As much as it saddens me to see Haiti go through yet another disaster in the midst of its existing challenges, yet I, along with my Haitian brothers and sisters, remain evermore committed to a better and stronger Haiti for generations to come,” she added.