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Central Florida Caribbean groups respond to Hurricane Beryl with disaster supplies

Hurricane Beryl photographed from the International Space Station.
Matthew Dominick
This image showing Hurricane Beryl on July 1 was captured by NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick on July 1 while aboard the International Space Station.

As storm surge and 140-mile-per-hour winds pummeled Jamaica Wednesday, Central Florida groups hurried to get disaster supplies ready for the Caribbean nation and other islands hit by Hurricane Beryl.

The relief efforts include theJamaican American Association of Central Florida and the heads of organizations in theCaribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida.

They're collecting donations and supplies and arranging shipment.


Joan Edgehill, president of the Jamaican American association, said they're starting with water and nonperishable food. Later she expects they'll send clothing, toiletries, paper products and even medical supplies.

“Once we can hear from the people there what's most needed," she said, "we will know a little bit more, but because we've had hurricanes before we have an idea that food for sure … food and water.”

Edghill said in a text that donations can be dropped off at Holy Family Episcopal Church, 1010 N. Hiawassee Road in Orlando on Tuesday from 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sandra Fatmi Hall, a community advocate in Orlando working with

Submitted image
Sam Roberts

the chamber response, said it’s important to respond to the actual needs of hurricane survivors.

[A]s we're getting more reports,” she said, “we will know exactly what to do, and how we can be more useful in making sure that we get those things out there ASAP.”

The chamber has a preliminary list of needed items -- including nonperishable food, hygiene products, diapers, money, toys and books. The drop off location is Lara's Shipping at 731 S. Kirkman Road.

They’re also seeking volunteers to help pack the donations.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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