Community invited to help fill shipping containers with non-perishable food and clothing to help earthquake victims

MIAMI, Florida- A non-perishable food and clothing drive is taking place this Sunday, January 17th , to help those affected by the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti on Tuesday.  Donations can be made from 1:00 to 6:00 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) building in North Miami Beach located at 2601 NE 163rd Street.

 “We invite everyone from all religions and backgrounds to join us in assisting our needy brothers and sisters in Haiti at this time,” said Albert Benzion, the Miami Lakes LDS Stake President who presides over ten Miami area congregations.  Benzion started this Miami humanitarian effort after staying up all night watching news coverage of the earthquake disaster.

LDS congregations from the Florida Keys to Ft. Lauderdale are asking community members to help them fill a 40 ft (2800 cu. ft.) container that will be shipped out to Haiti on Tuesday.  More containers will be available to meet the supply.

“In times like these when a great tragedy takes place, we forget our differences.  We can be believers and do nothing or we can be believers and take action by helping those in need,” Benzion said.

The Vice Mayor of the City of Miramar, Troy Samuels, is also helping with relief efforts.  Samuels, who lived two years in Haiti, speaks fluent Creole and has strong ties to the Haitian community in South Florida.

“There is a tremendous need for assistance in Haiti, and I welcome the opportunity to provide service to the wonderful people there.  My heart goes out to those living in Haiti and those living here locally that have family living in Haiti,” Samuels said.  

In addition to local humanitarian aid to help those in Haiti, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, has gathered more than 160,000 pounds of food, emergency and medical supplies to be flown to Haiti today and tomorrow. For more information on these efforts please visit

For those individuals desiring to donate money to help the victims, LDS Humanitarian Services is accepting donations on-line at .  Donations can also be made via the telephone by calling 1-800-525-8074.  One hundred percent of the money donated goes to relieve the suffering of the earthquake victims.