Jamaicans in Atlanta Respond to Hurricane Relief Effort


The Jamaican Community in Atlanta held an emergency town hall meeting on Sept.11 to discuss their response to the island’s recovery and reconstruction effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
The meeting, which was held at the Hillside Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia was convened by Honorary Consul Vin Martin, and was attended by over 100 concerned nationals and friends of Jamaica.
Also present were representatives of the media including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta’s major daily newspaper.
Mr. Martin brought the gathering up to date on the conditions in Jamaica and outlined the relief effort to be undertaken. He said that over the next several days, a number of fundraising activities would be held and urged the community to give full support to the activities.
He mentioned that a number of Jamaican communities in the Diaspora had joined the relief effort, mentioning the launch to the Hurricane Relief Fund by the New York and Miami consulates in conjunction with the Embassy in Washington.
The Atlanta Jamaican Association, through its interim Chairman, Derrick Wright, launched the Atlanta fund with a contribution of US$500. Several members of the audience also made donations.
Subsequent to the meeting, several organizations, headed by United for Jamaica, established relationships with many business leaders, who agreed to have collection points at their business places.
Mr. Martin, who was sought for interviews by all the major media houses in Atlanta, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX 5 and CNN, said he was overwhelmed by the attention being given to the situation in Jamaica by these media houses.
He stated that two of the major mainstream radio stations in Atlanta, V-103.3 FM and Kiss 104.1 FM, had expressed a desire to aid in the relief drive by reaching out to their millions of listeners.
Additionally a telethon is being arranged by Caribbean radio personalities in Atlanta, including Glenn Simmonds and Lloyd Roberts of station WCLK 91.9 FM, and Jason Walker, Paul Abrahams and LaSimba of WRFG 89.3 FM. There are also plans for the staging of major fundraising shows with proceeds to go towards the relief effort.
Meanwhile, the Honorary Consul’s office has been inundated with calls from well-wishers, eager to assist in whatever ways they can.

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