Story and picture by Stéphanie Picard, a Canadian Red Cross aid worker currently in Haiti
 
Spirits were high from the first few moments of the aid distribution in Jérémie, Haiti, when Red Cross volunteers and staff provided residents with much-needed tarps and hygiene kits.
 
Prior to the distribution, Red Cross teams visited the city to identify those left most vulnerable after Hurricane Matthew and ensured that their immediate needs were met.
 
Young children, pregnant women, people living with handicaps and the elderly were targeted first to ensure they could return home as soon as possible. 
 
Every mesi anpil (thank you very much) and yon konten (I am happy) strengthened Red Crossers’ resolve, whose mission is to bring relief to those whose homes and livelihoods have been ravaged by Hurricane Matthew.  
 
Red Cross volunteer Stéphanie, pictured here, lost her home in the hurricane. For her, it’s an honour to help her community and work together to recover from the hardship.Red Cross aid worker Stéphanie, pictured right, helps Maggie carry her bags to the exit where she waits for her friends to come through the distribution line. Returning to offer help to others, Stéphanie spots Poupette, who was calling out for Maggie. Both women expressed heartfelt gratitude for Stéphanie’s help.
 
Erney, 47 years old, smiles as a Red Cross volunteer helps him carry the tarp and box he’s just received. “Everything back home was broken by the hurricane. As soon as I get home, I will put up the tarp. I am very thankful to Red Cross,” he said courageously. 
 
“My house has been “écrasée”. What I am wearing is all that I own, and it was given to me by friends, neighbors and family who had little left to give themselves,” Sulface tells the volunteers. While the kit and tarp were appreciated, what Sulface would like above all else is to return home. Her sister took her in after the hurricane left her homeless.
 
14-year-old Mia and her friend Jessie came together to pick up the tarp for their families. “I have to bring the tarp home as soon as possible to help reinforce our roof. But we will not keep the contents of the hygiene kits to ourselves. I want to share it with my neighbours and friends who need just as much as I do.”

Red Cross volunteer Stéphanie lost her home in the hurricane. For her, it’s an honour to help her community and work together to recover from the hardship. 


Canadians can donate to support these ongoing efforts by the Red Cross to deliver healthcare and other aid to people affected by the hurricane.