Nayaba Arinde

Amsterdam News Editor


Bedford National Guard Armory in Brooklyn opened to accept donated relief supplies

On Friday, September 19, Special Assistant to the Brooklyn Borough President Yvonne Graham gathered at Flatbush Reformed Church with leaders of the Haitian community and elected officials to call on the public to donate desperately-needed supplies for hurricane relief efforts in Haiti. Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike–as well as Tropical Storm Fay–have left hundreds of residents dead, tens of thousands homeless, and many areas ravaged by hunger, dehydration, destroyed roadways and crumbling infrastructure.

“Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and we all know that poorer countries have much more difficulty dealing with the aftermath of such overwhelming destruction,” says Special Assistant Graham. “I know that Brooklynites have come together to support natural disaster relief efforts around the world, and that we all share the same compassion for the residents of Haiti. After all, Brooklyn shares a common motto with Haiti: “In unity there is strength.”

Governor Paterson has directed the opening of the New York Army National Guard Armory in Brooklyn to allow for the collection of donated relief supplies. The facility at 1579 Bedford Avenue at Union Street will be open through September 26th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Soldiers from the New York National Guard will be on hand to receive, sort and prepare for shipment donated items for the citizens of Haiti. In addition, the state is accepting donated items through the 26th at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office building at 163 West 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in Harlem. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The most-needed items include:

* Bottled water (packed in cases or six packs at a minimum). Single bottles are inappropriate donations since they will have to be repackaged

* Rice (dried in bags)

* Beans (dried only and cans)

* Sterno canisters

* Tarpaulin – of any size, preferably 10×10 or larger. It is used for both roofing and flooring

* Nylon cord (100′ rolls)

* Hygiene items limited to toothbrushes, toothpaste, mild soaps

* New underclothes – children sizes

* New hand towels