Local church raising money to send relief supplies to Haiti

DECATUR, Ala. -- Hurricane Matthew has left a path of destruction in its wake, primarily in the Caribbean. WHNT News 19 spoke with a Decatur man who was actually on the ground in Haiti when the Matthew hit. Harry Hames is a missionary from the Flint Church of Christ. Hames is now back in Alabama trying to raise money to send relief supplies to the country.

Hames is one of thousands who had to seek shelter as Hurricane Matthew completely leveled Haiti. He said the devastation was even more gut-wrenching than the earthquake back in 2010.

"It would appear to me, and I've never seen it in person, that a bomb hit, and just blew every building and every tree down immediately," said Hames as he described what the area looked like the morning after.

Hames said Haitians had no concept of the damage the storm would bring, so many of them did properly prepare, or seek shelter in time.

"The next day, as we walked the streets, just everybody was in tears, and begging for help you know, 'meh gumbo' they would say, they would rub their stomach and say we're hungry," he said.

Hames is back in the states to try to raise money to send 42 foot containers of relief supplies that have been donated by other churches.

"One from Kentucky and one from Columbus, Mississippi that have offered us two containers of food, and one container of building supplies, if we can pay for the shipping to get it into Port Au Prince," he said.

It will cost about $8,000 per container. Hames is hoping to raise the money as quickly as they can because the need in Haiti is so great right now.

"I need to raise about $25,000 and I said if 250 people can send a hundred dollars apiece to the Flint church, we could cover that with ease," said Hames.

He said the biggest need right now is food, water, and shelter, and that monetary donations will be the best way to help in order to get those containers shipped.

Knowing how desperately help is needed, Hames is hoping that they'll be able to raise the money within the next two weeks. He also plans on having a food drive.