GTA Haitians spend weekend raising funds

GTA Haitians spend weekend raising funds

Members of the GTA’s Haitian community are ramping up fundraising efforts for earthquake relief.

Dozens of them teamed up with Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion at the Hershey Centre, urging visitors to drop off donations for the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

The event came soon after people started getting news about family members in Haiti who were missing for days.

Marie Jennyne Mayerd learned she lost four family members in the quake, but is now focusing on raising money so survivors in her homeland can rebuild.

“I’ve been crying, crying, crying for four days and now I said to myself, listen, be strong. I know it’s really hard to lose all that family at the same time,” said Mayerd.

“But that’s why I said we have to do something,” Mayerd said.

Pierre Louis told CTV Toronto that his sister managed to survive the earthquake, but she and her two sons are living on the street.

“She has nothing,” he said.

Capt. David Allen of the Salvation Army said relief organizations can do more with cash donations versus goods.

“While it would be nice to look in the closet, it really is cash, (that is needed),” he said.

“(Cash) is the best to transfer into things like water, specific medical aid, and mobilize personnel, which really is needed.”

Another group of Toronto Haitians set up an information booth at the North York Civic Centre to tell visitors about the different ways they can help. Representatives from the Red Cross and World Vision explained how donations are being used.

But it isn’t just individuals who are doing what they can to help– businesses and even trade shows are also lending a hand.

At the North American International Motorcycle Show, one booth allowed visitors make to donations to World Vision and write letters of support to quake victims.

Cashiers at more than 470 Canadian Tire stores ask every customer if they want to make a $1 donation.

Canadian Tire sent a shipment of sleeping bags, batteries, flashlights, and other supplies to Haiti earlier this week.

The LCBO and Loblaws stores are also collecting donations.

With files from CTV’s John Musselman