(August 17, 2021 at 4:45pm)

QUEENS, NY – Following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14, killing at least 1,400 people and leaving thousands more homeless, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. will host a vigil in partnership with Haitian Americans United for Progress, Inc. (HAUP) and Assemblymember Clyde Vanel on Thursday, August 19 at 8PM outside HAUP’s headquarters in Queens Village in honor of those who lost their lives in the disaster.

To assist in Haiti’s recovery following the devastating tremor, Borough President Richards is also launching a donation drive in support of the countless Haitian families impacted by the earthquake.

“From natural disasters to political turmoil, Haiti has been dealt blow after blow in recent years, but the resolve of the Haitian people and our Haitian American community is unmatched. In the wake of this destructive earthquake, Queens stands ready to offer a helping hand to our Caribbean neighbors in their time of need,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “If you are able, please join us at Thursday’s vigil and consider donating to our relief effort in support of the families of Haiti as they pick up the pieces following this devastating trauma.”

The August 19 vigil, featuring elected officials, clergy members and community leaders, will be held rain or shine at the office of HAUP, located at 209-05 Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village.

The vigil will be held one day after the commencement of Borough President Richards’ earthquake donation drive at Queens Borough Hall. Running through Wednesday, September 22, Borough President Richards’ office will accept donations of bottled water, non-perishable food, personal care products, toiletries and feminine hygiene products at Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Donations can be dropped off in a box located in the lobby of Borough Hall next to the security desk, just inside the building’s main entrance. The lobby is open 24 hours a day.

Queens Borough Hall can easily be reached by mass transit by taking the Q60 bus or the E or F subway lines to the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike subway station.

For those who wish to donate financially, such donations can be made to four different organizations, as identified by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City — Ayiti Community Trust, Capracare HaitiHope for Haiti and Partners in Health.

“We are grateful for the well-wishes and support from all that have reached out,” said Assemblymember CLYDE VANEL. “The Haitian-American community is grateful for the outreach and support from the wider Queens community.”

“As much as it saddens me to see Haiti go through yet another disaster in the midst of its existing challenges, yet I, along with my Haitian brothers and sisters, remain evermore committed to a better and stronger Haiti for generations to come,” said Haitian Americans United for Progress Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director ELSIE SAINT LOUIS. “My heartfelt gratitude to the friends and partners of the Haitian people who continue to reach out in so many big and small ways in support, empathy and collaboration.”

“As the most diverse place on earth with numerous Haitian-American owned businesses; our hearts go out to the people of Haiti as they grapple with yet another unspeakable tragedy. At this incredibly difficult time, the Queens Chamber and Queens’ business community are proud to support the efforts to bring much needed resources to Haiti,” said Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO THOMAS J. GRECH. “We thank Borough President Richards for his leadership in organizing this donation drive for Haiti, and ask all Queens residents to join us in supporting the relief efforts.”

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram