Dalembert, Leaders: Haiti "Needs Help" - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Dalembert, Leaders: Haiti "Needs Help"

Haitian officials say death toll could hit 100,000 or more



    Dalembert, Leaders: Haiti "Needs Help"
    Injured people sit along Delmas Road the day after an earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 13.

    Word has started to trickle out of Haitifollowing Tuesday's devastating earthquake and the news is not good.

    Tens of thousands are feared dead and 3 million affected after the massive 7.0 quake rocked the island of Hispaniola. Buildings crumbled under the earth's movement leaving those who were spared homeless. The injured lack hospital care and food is scarce.

    So it's easy to see why many Haitian-Americans are banding together to try and raise money and goods for their relatives, brothers and sisters in the Caribbean.

    "The house where we live in Haiti collapsed completely," said Emmanuel Polection. "So right now, at this minute [my family] was on the street."

    Philly Haitian Leader: "We Need Help"

    [PHI] Philly Haitian Leader: "We Need Help"
    In the aftermath of a massive 7.0 earthquake, local Haitians are asking for everyone to help their homeland.
    (Published Thursday, June 30, 2011)

    Polection, a Haitian community leader from Philadelphia, says the impoverished country needs any help it can get.

    "We need any type of donation. We need first aid assistance. We need medical help," he said.

    Many in the community are making the same plea for help including Philadelphia 76er Samuel Dalembert. Arguably Philly's most famous Haitian, Dalembert says the disaster has left him "frustrated."

    "I just feel like I'm caged, I cannot move, I cannot do anything," he said. "I've tried to be tough, but it's hard to know that all those people I know over there...we've still got no news from them."

    Dalembert was able to reach his father and sister on Facebook to find they are safe. The Sixers center says he tried to charter a plane to the island nation to help in any way possible, but was told the flight was impossible because the plane couldn't land. He's donated over $70,000 to support relief efforts in his home country over his career in the NBA.

    The United States pledged to support the country -- which is about the size of the state of Maryland -- in any way possible.

    President Barack Obama dispatched an initial 2,000 Marines, the Coast Guard and Navy ships -- including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson -- Wednesday. The president spent most of the day making calls to his counterparts around the world asking for their support.

    You can answer the call for help by contacting a national relief organization like UNICEF. If you’d like to take a more local approach, you can visit the Salvation Army of Southeastern Pa. or Southeastern Pa. American Red Cross.

    If you have family members in the country, you can call the U.S. State Department's hotline for information at 888.407.4747.