Press Release: Hurricane Relief Efforts in Haiti Get Personal

  • Rye Beach, NH, November 16, 2016Help for Haiti, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit, announces that it will allocate all October donations, totaling $13,000, to Hurricane Matthew relief in south Haiti. The nonprofit will donate $5,000 for the complete rebuild of a home for Help for Haiti colleague and hurricane survivor, Alex Synal. An additional $5,000 will be donated to food packaging distribution partner, Feed My Starving Children, which has committed to ship at least 15 million meals to Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic in response to the hurricane. Lastly, the board of directors will direct the remaining $3000 to any disaster-related problems that arise in the days ahead.

    Synal is 27-years-old, and was, quite literally, born and raised in his home in Port Salut, Haiti, where he lives with nine family members and friends. When the hurricane hit, Synal recalls that, “the roof went first,” followed by every wall of the six-room house. “We stood out in the rain and wind for two hours, until all the trees blew over and it was safe to run to the neighbor’s house.”


    Weeks later, the entire family is still living in their neighbor’s home. Synal, who attended college in Missouri as the recipient of a U.S. sponsorship, has received hundreds of U.S. dollars from colleagues in the states to aid in hurricane relief. However, instead of putting this money toward rebuilding his own home, Synal is paying it forward. He is using the donations to purchase 50-60 pound bags of rice and beans, which he has been distributing to remote areas of south Haiti via a team of motorcycle drivers that he has coordinated.

    “My family asked me why I wasn’t giving the money to them,” Synal said. “I told them we are doing okay, but that there are many families who don’t have any food or water because the cars can’t reach them.”


    Synal said that one bag of rice or beans is enough to feed a family of 10 for four days. “It is scary, though,” he admitted. Oftentimes, he will arrive in a community and become immediately surrounded by dozens of families, all starving and desperate for food. He realizes that the food he is distributing is the only resource separating these communities from life and death. “It’s hard,” he said, “choosing who will get the food.”

    Synal consults for Metrix Research Group, a nonprofit research organization that assists international ministries to integrate quality research into day-to-day operations. Help for Haiti has recently engaged with Metrix to develop a research-based analysis of the progress of their One Hen, Inc. social entrepreneurship program in a private church-school in Cap Haïtien. Although Synal will facilitate this project, he plans to continue his relief efforts until the funds are exhausted.


    Help for Haiti Founder and Director, Jim Willey, recognizes that the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti is the worst since the historic 2010 earthquake. “Our hearts break for the thousands of Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew,” he said. “That said, we recognize the countless acts of selflessness that Alex Synal has performed in these weeks following the hurricane, and we feel compelled to help. We are humbled by Alex’s story, and honored to present the donations we received in October to fund the complete rebuild of his home.”

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    Posted on: November 16th, 2016
    Posted by: Jim

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