JIS News

Over 8,500 pairs of shoes were collected on Saturday (January 23) and Sunday (January 24) in support of earthquake-hit Haiti, during a shoe drive held at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) headquarters at 2-4 Haining Road in Kingston.
A collaborative effort between ODPEM and Well Heeled Jamaicans, a local charitable organisation, the event was held in a bid to collect 10,000 pairs of new and slightly worn shoes.
The drive also sought to bring to the public’s attention the ODPEM’s priority needs list which includes bottled water, non-perishable food items, medical supplies and tents.
Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson, told JIS News today (January 25) that in addition to the 8,500 pairs of shoes that have been sorted, sanitised and packaged, several more pairs are left to be processed between today and Saturday (January 30) to meet the target.
Founder of Well Heeled Jamaicans, Miss Lisa Ogilvie, told JIS News over the weekend that hundreds of volunteers turned out to assist with the drive.
“We partnered with ODPEM…to support the wrapping up of the relief drive (for shoes and clothing) over this two-day period. It’s been phenomenal; we’ve gotten tremendous corporate support,” she said.
Miss Ogilvie said that based on the donations over the weekend, persons have been heeding the call from ODPEM to focus on some of the essential items needed at present. She reported that not only shoes were collected but medical supplies, food, water and other donations as well.
Deputy Director General of ODPEM Richard Thompson, said that the voluntary assistance has been great, particularly the outpouring of support from ordinary Jamaicans and corporate persons.
He informed that at present, there is a great need for medication for infants. “There is a lot of stuff that has gone in for adults, but I don’t think a lot of consideration was given to the fact that infants actually take smaller dosages of medicine and different medicines. So, we are looking at that as well, in terms of getting in supplies for babies,” he said.
On Tuesday, January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, devastating the capital Port-au-Prince. Jamaica has joined other countries in the relief and recovery efforts and has been designated as the base for CARICOM’s input.

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