Answering the call: NYPD ships 11 large containers full of relief supplies to rebuilding Haiti

NYPD, elected officials, and members of Red Hook Shipping stand beside the donations.
Photo by Dean Moses

The NYPD is shipping out a New York gift to quake-stricken Haiti.

Members of the NYPD and elected officials gathered at Red Hook Shipping Terminals on Oct. 4 to send off 100 tons of supplies that, in just over five days, will reach people in the Caribbean nation.

The shrill sound of beeps filled the fog-laden air on Monday as large containers were hoisted onto a ship that would be departing Brooklyn that same evening. Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes watched the culmination of a two month-long effort to gather supplies for Haitians in need.

It was a team effort, Holmes acknowledged. While the NYPD put their logistical expertise to use, the drive was largely driven by everyday New Yorkers who donated what they could to the relief effort.

“My deepest thanks to the men and women of the Patrol Service Bureau. When the people of Haiti asked for help, you rose to the occasion. You donated goods and took charge of gathering contributions from city residents in all of our 77 precincts. If you want to see how generous the people of New York City are, you don’t have to look far,” Holmes said. “We gathered 100 tons of supplies, enough to fill 11 shipping containers.”

Head shipper Louis Spano.Photo by Dean Moses

Ever since a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14, the NYPD says they have been working to gather donations from New Yorkers that include canned goods, hygiene products, and baby formula. It is hoped that these supplies will make a positive difference in the lives of those suffering from the widespread devastation.

“There are so many people who took part in this great effort and I want to thank each and every one of you,” Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said. “I would like to thank everyone who answered the call to help Haiti. Without you, we would not be standing here today, ready to provide relief to Haiti. We’ve witnessed a real sense of community with the Haiti relief effort.”

According to the head of Red Hook Shipping, Louis Spano, when the shipment arrives in Haiti, it may take a week for the products to be disbursed by Food for the Poor-Haiti executive director Bishop Ogé Beauvoir and his crew, but Spano affirms that he is confident they will reach the intended recipients.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.Photo by Dean Moses

With the cargo ship preparing to cast away, Chief Holmes was able to look back at the large containers with a sense of pride.

“I am everyone who receives these donations will be truly thankful to all the New Yorkers who donated these goods and to all those who made cash donations as well. I’m proud of everyone,” Holmes said.

This story first appeared on amNewYork.