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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — International aid is finally getting underway in Haiti as authorities try to determine the full extent of the devastation.

Voices sang out Sunday, praising God but mourning the lives lost after Hurricane Matthew pummeled the impoverished country.

They gathered to worship in their memory at Notre Dame D’Haiti Church in Miami.

Amid the faithful sat a familiar face. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho showed his support for the Haitian community.

“Once again we are called upon to help,” said Carvalho. “Our school system is a kind school system that recognizes pain and need. It steps up.”

On Tuesday, all Miami-Dade County public schools will begin a collection for donations and supplies for those in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew. This isn’t the first time the superintendent and the school system has collaborated with the church to help those in the island nation.

After the 2010 earthquake that killed thousands in the country, Miami-Dade Public Schools came to their side then, as well.

“Every time we have a situation, the superintendent, the school board, the district schools of Miami, they are always there, present,” said Father Reginald Jean-Marie. “That is the reason why today is very significant for all of us. Because what we need in life is that kind of solidarity.”

And the country needs the help. The death toll is estimated at about 900 people.

Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed during the deadly storm and the government has said about 350,000 are in need of aid.


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