Hurricane Matthew relief efforts begin in Houston area

- In times of tragedy, the goodness of people always seems to shine through. At least two organizations in the Houston area are helping to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew, which has killed at least 260 people throughout Haiti and is setting its eye on the Florida coast.

In the next 24 hours, the Houston chapter of the American Red Cross will be on the road, setting out on a 13-hour drive, a little more than 1,000 miles to Orlando. The contingent will be delivering aid intended to those suffering the potential devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew. 

Behind the steering wheel of the Red Cross vehicles, you will find volunteers like Jon, serving hot meals to people sometimes without a bed to lie their head upon.

"This is where we serve hot meals from," says Jon from inside one of the trucks bound for Florida. "We put the (food) in a cam shell, (a) plastic cam shell and serve it through the windows."

Hurricane Matthew has proven to be a formidable storm already, decimating one of the world's most fragile countries with respect to natural disasters.

One Houston non-governmental organization is stepping in and lending a "Helping Hand."

"Being in this global village, it is our duty as Muslims and as citizens of this world to take care, where there's need," says Ayub Mohamed. He also says Helping Hands is providing food and medical care for free to 250 families at a cost of just 25 dollars a week to the organization. Helping Hands seek donations but also doctors, due to a shortage of adequate medical care in Haiti.

"If there are medical professionals in Houston that are willing to donate their time to go to Haiti, please contact us directly," says Mohamed.

But for people like Jon and Mohamed, these relief efforts are truly about helping people who aren't able to help themselves by no fault of their own.

"I get personal joy out of it," says Jon.

"If you want to sleep with your stomach full then we should want the same thing for them, they're no different than us," says Mohamed.

If you want to help, visit www.redcross.org or Helping Hand's website at https://hhrd.org/DetailDonate.

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