Dancing away the Irma Blues in Little Haiti

By Chely Paul

Dancing away the Irma Blues in Little Haiti

The strong winds and rain of Hurricane Irma left many people in Little Haiti without electrical power; many were displaced or unable to provide a hot meal for their families.

During times of natural disaster, many rely on humanitarians to lessen their pain.

The Haitian American Relief Effort (HARE) is a group of professionals and volunteers who have made helping others and lessening their pain a priority.

Recognized last year for jumping into action after the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in southern Haiti, members did the same for the popular Haitian community in Miami.

Leaders Sandy Dorsainvil, Angie Bell

Led by Haitian activist Sandy Dorsainvil and poet Angie Bell, they contacted local vendors, musicians, politicians and restaurant owners to assist with a day of giving to Little Haiti.

One of the toughest aspects of a natural disaster is the aftermath, and Irma did not leave quietly. One week after it passed, many in Little Haiti were without water and the ability to make a hot meal for their families.

Like most Florida residents, the people in Little Haiti prepared themselves for Irma which made landfall on September 10. But they still suffered.

Old school block party

Last week, the affected were given an old school block party at Little Haiti Cultural Center. People came out in numbers, young and old putting their worries aside, ready to party!

DJ Big Ben of 103.5 The Beat provided the music. Co-hosts were Haitian model Tico Armand and actor/poet and rap artist Mecca (aka GRIMO).

Local eateries

Local eateries Make The Homeless Smile and Michel’s Kitchen served barbecue food, while recently opened D’Vine by 1901 Restaurant and Lounge provided Haitian rice for over 1000 people, bringing their authentic taste to a community in need.

“Giving back is always important, helping people from my community is an added plus,” said D’Vine’s owner Tony Cadet.

There was also Haitian style ‘mac and cheese’ from the well-known Mandodo Foundation; water donated by American Red Cross International, Metro One and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and ice provided by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

It was a heartwarming event by HARE which left many people with a feeling of joy and renewed sense of community.

“In these moments of crisis, my community fuels me! When we work together to help people in need, I feel the grace of God and witness the best of humankind,” said Dorsainvil.

Read more on humanitarian events at the Little Haiti Cultural Center: https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/caribbean-breaking-news-featured/19049/

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