Local organization looking to assist community impacted by Haiti earthquake

NOW: Local organization looking to assist community impacted by Haiti earthquake

HALES CORNERS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Local efforts to help with the devastation going on in Haiti are starting to take form, as over 200 people have been reported dead from an earthquake that struck the country Saturday, August 14.

In addition to the damage from Saturday's earthquake, reports indicate strong tropical storms are on the way towards the struggling nation, leaving thousands to fend against the looming storms without shelter or supplies.

Volunteers and members of St. Mary's Parish in Hales Corners are launching efforts to try and assist a community they've built a relationship with for 20 years.

"They lost their school, they lost the clinic, they lost their community center, as I said before, the church was down because of the hurricane," said Lisa Ryan.

Ryan said she and the rest of the congregation at St. Mary's was devastated to hear how the community they've helped out over the years by building structures, raising funding and providing healthcare, has been impacted by the earthquake.

"It's more than just the destructions of the buildings. It's the food, how are we going to get food to these people and now with the tremendous storms that are coming, they don't have shelter," said Ryan.

Pam Lownic, St. Mary's Director of Social Concerns and Outreach, said that while luckily there were no deaths in the small remote community just north of Jeremy, which is near the epicenter of the earthquake, they're still working to help the community with any resources they can provide.

"Short term will raise money for food, medicine, emergency supplies, long term, we'll help them rebuild," said Lownic.

St. Mary's Parish Administrator Father Aaron Laskiewicz said it's something their community feels deeply about.

"As a part of our parish family when they hurt, we hurt," said Father Laskiewicz.

The group is asking anyone who is looking to help Haiti in some way to reach out, as they have direct communication lines there to speak to people's needs.

"If anybody wishes to be of support to Haiti, they can contact the parish office contact myself, Pam Lownic, or anybody on our outreach team to offer support or talk about ways to reach out to the people down there," said Father Laskiewicz.

If you're looking to help, you can go to St. Mary's parish website by clicking here, to find their contact information.

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