An archdiocesan initiative will supply urgently needed supplies to Haitian residents devastated by an Aug. 14 earthquake.

On Sept. 11, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Haitian Apostolate, directed by Oblate Father Eugène Almonor, will hold a drive-by collection from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. William Parish, located at 6200 Rising Sun Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. The Haitian communities at both St. William Parish and St. Barbara Parish in Philadelphia are served by Father Almonor, a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate congregation and a native of Haiti.

Co-sponsored by the Office for Migrants and Refugees and Catholic Social Services, the donation campaign will accept toiletries, medicines and medical supplies, school supplies, non-perishable foods (such as rice, beans, bottled water and canned goods), gently used or new clothes and outdoor gear such as tarps and sleeping bags.

A sea container will be on site for loading the items and shipping them to southwest Haiti, where a magnitude 7.2 quake struck the nation’s Tiburon Peninsula, killing more than 2,220, injuring some 12,200 and leaving an estimated 650,000 in need of assistance. At least 66 health care facilities were also destroyed or damaged, increasing the risk of both COVID and cholera outbreaks.

Just days after the quake, Tropical Storm Grace battered the island nation, hampering rescue and recovery efforts.

On Aug. 20, Father Almonor organized a vespers prayer service for his native country, displaying a map of Haiti before the altar, with an image of the crucified Christ affixed to the Aug. 14 quake’s epicenter in Petit Trou de Nippes, located some 95 miles east of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

“I put the cross there because it symbolizes suffering, hope and resurrection,” said Father Almonor. “Haiti is down, but it can be raised up, as Jesus was after he died.”

For more information on the Sept. 11 drive-by collection, call 267-872-3152 or 267-600-1399.