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South Florida Organizations Working Around The Clock To Send Earthquake Relief Supplies To Haiti

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Several groups in South Florida are collecting and sending relief supplies to Haiti after the weekend's 7.2 earthquake.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, not only were relief flights being prepared and departing, people from Port-au-Prince were arriving to escape the turmoil in their country.

"They need help. Haiti is a poor country, as you know, no matter what we need help," said Mez Melvil, who was one of the dozens of people who arrived at the airport from Haiti on Monday.

Aid from South Florida began arriving in Haiti over the weekend.

JetBlue donated a plane, gas, and crew to bring first responders, medical supplies, and other relief to the country.

Team Rubicon will help with those injured and getting them the medical attention they need.

"We bring in medical teams, we look at water and sanitation. Really, we're going there with an open mind right now to see how best our skills can be put to use to help the survivors of this disaster," said Dennis Clancy, Operations Director of Team Rubicon.

The World Central Kitchen has sent food and supplies.

"There are a lot of hunger challenges in Haiti right now, even before the earthquake, and now this earthquake, especially in the south, has really amplified the need for food. So we're here to provide hot and fresh meals for the community. And we're going to be there as long as we need to be," said Nate Mook, executive director of World Central Kitchen.

Stephane Gilles, the consul general for Haiti, said the situation has left the country in dire need for assistance.

The nonprofit Global Empowerment Mission is among those working with the Haitian consul general to provide that aid.

"We're doing a threefold response. We're going out there with the rescue team, Green Berets, we will be there tomorrow on the ground and will also be purchasing aid in country, because it takes time to get things on a larger scale sent over," said Global Empowerment Mission founder Michael Capponi.

In addition, GEM is currently shipping 20 40-foot containers to southern Haiti. Those contains are loaded with these boxes that include food, beverages, hygiene products, PPE and medical supplies. They are also distributing solar-powered stoves, tents, blankets and inflatable mattresses.

But with the political turmoil in the country, getting the supplies where they need is easier said than done.

"This is definitely one of the most complex situations going on, where you're trying to get aid into a country," said Capponi. "Other than trying to get aid to Syria or Afghanistan, right now, it's some vile people with guns."

Capponi said gang members have taken over many of the roads not destroyed by the earthquake. And there is a real danger of the items being stolen or someone getting hurt.

To help maneuver around the danger, the Caribbean Council core, which includes the consulate generals of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica and Haiti, have joined forces.

"One voice among all of us and coming together to support each other and this is one of those occasions," said Gilbert Boustany, consul general for Antigua and Barbuda.

With the help of the Caribbean Council, the supplies will have an easier time clearing customs, the necessary security to get the items to their destination.

Click here if you would like to donate to the Neighbors 4 Neighbors fund dedicated to helping the people affected by this earthquake.

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