Monroe County woman organizes help for earthquake victims in Haiti

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MONROE COUNTY, EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A Monroe County woman with ties to Haiti is coordinating a relief effort to help people affected by the disaster.

The earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti left nearly two thousand people dead and thousands more injured.

As those numbers continue to climb, a Poconos-based nurse practitioner plans to provide aid to those in her homeland.

“I have some roots back in Haiti, my parents continue to instill the tradition of our culture into our home and so, here I am,” said Herline Raphael.

Raphael migrated from Haiti to the United States when she was eight years old with her family.

She now works as a nurse practitioner and is using her medical knowledge to help the people of Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Sunday.

“We’re looking to collect medical supplies, medications, over-the-counter, antibiotics, as well as some hygenic supplies. Everyday use items so we can bring to the individuals that are affected,” explained Raphael.

Raphael is also looking to collect tents as thousands remain displaced while tropical storm grace slams Haiti with rain.

“Post the earthquake, the displaced families are now dealing with homelessness, no shelter during this cyclone, or what we call the pre-hurricane that’s now hit Haiti,” stated Raphael.

Raphael is the founder of the nonprofit “Helping Hands and Beyond” established in 2009, the organization provides public health services and coordinates medical mission trips around the globe.

“We travel into the villages, we travel into the mountains, we go where the work is needed and, we work,” said Raphael.

Raphael and other volunteers are set to travel to Haiti next week. But if you can’t make the journey, you can help the cause by going to the “Helping Hands and Beyond” website to learn more on how you can donate.

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