WAYLAND, Mich. — During a devastating time in Haiti, a local group, including its native-Haitian founder, is continuing to help those in the nation who need it most.
Over two months after Figi Jezi, a group that provides aid to Haiti, sent down a converted storage container-turned-doctor’s office, they’re trying to fill up an additional container with supplies and food for the very same village.
Telsaint Morriset grew up in the Cap-Haitien region and immigrated to the U.S. when he was just 15 years old. He and his wife, Amanda, founders of Figi Jezi, transformed the drab container into a sparkling medical facility to provide dental and medical care for residents who, in some cases, have never seen a doctor before.
The additional supplies range from canned food to raincoats and boots, tarps, hygiene supplies, and medical supplies — which take up roughly half of the container on their own. But Figi Jezi still needs supplies to fill up the empty space.
“We’re trying to collect stuff that the people actually need right now,” said Telsaint. “The people of Haiti are so resilient. They get knocked down; they rise up. They get knocked down; they rise up. Because, you know, they always get knocked down, but they always come back.”
In July of 2020, a few days before the medical container arrived in Haiti, the nation’s president was assassinated. A month later, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the country. Two days after that, Tropical Depression Grace slammed the country, devastating towns and villages.
As recently as this week, Haiti was a fixture in American headlines as thousands of migrants flocked to the U.S. southern border seeking entry. It prompted the recent resignation of America’s special envoy for the country.
Figi Jezi is hoping to fill up the container by this Sunday so they can send out the container as soon as possible. It’s roughly a three-week journey from its spot in Wayland to Haiti. The container itself and the shipping costs — around $19,000 — was fully covered by Grand Rapids First Church.
To drop off donations, go to:
2166 Onekama Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Drop-offs can be made Tuesday, Sept. 28–Friday, Oct. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To schedule a pickup, call (616)-322-4639.
Needed items include:
- Rain Boots
- Work Gloves
- Antibacterial Soap/Sanitizer
- Hygiene Supplies
- Toilet Paper
- Water Filters
- Canned Foods/Non-perishables