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The Association of Free Community Papers Teams with Rotary International in Haiti Relief Efforts

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Gathered for their winter board meeting and also to complete the process to select their next Executive Director, the Board of Directors of the Association of Free Community Papers turned their attention to the needs of the Haitian community. The Board unanimously agreed to support the ongoing relief efforts of Rotary International District 7910 with $5,000 from its charitable fund.

“This is on top of, not instead of, our longstanding commitments to the March of Dimes,” said AFCP President, Orestes Baez. “The need in Haiti is staggering and immediate. I know many of our member publishers are offering support in their own ways, and we need to endorse those efforts at the national level. Support from the Association will help to keep our industry’s attention on our Haitian sisters and brothers after the camera crews pack their bags and coverage fades.”

“This is a perfect fit,” said Carol Toomey, AFCP’s Second Vice President and current District Governor of Rotary International District 7910. “We want to help the Haitian people when, where, and how they need it — not have money sit in a bank account. Those needs are constantly changing, and relief efforts have both short and long term challenges. Our District members had relationships with the ravaged community well before this cataclysmic event, and our friends on the ground are making real-time assessments. We’ve been able to convert dollars to vital material supplies stateside, and get them to the Hatian people at remarkable speeds. This hands-on network enables us to take incoming donations at District and translate them quickly into shelter, orthopedic supplies and even a device that sterilizes surgical tools and prevents infection,” Toomey said.

“Our members were there before this disaster, and AFCP’s generosity helps to ensure that we will remain throughout the rebuilding and beyond,” added Toomey. To date, the coordinated efforts of a multitude of partners helped to immediately shelter, feed and hydrate tens of thousands of displaced Hatian families in conjunction with ShelterBox and AquaBox. Medical needs have also been met with both the direct services of emergency teams and a warehouse of supplies. Doctors, nurses and other professionals arriving onsite have been met separately by air and container shipments of splints, casts, walkers, canes, crutches and other emergency medical supplies from District. “Going forward, continued support like AFCP’s remains essential for us to bolster the critical efforts of other longtime partners, including the Haitian Health Foundation, now serving the needs of throngs of refugees that fled Port au Prince for safety in the City of Jeremie,” Carol reminded.

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