MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As thousands rush to help the people of Haiti, many are finding the process to get aid to the country more difficult than expected. Betsy Bray is among them.
“I just thought Haiti just never gets a break,” said Bray.READ MORE: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
Compelled to help the people of Haiti, she decided to collect items and have them shipped to the country – eventually getting a garage full of items.
Bray partnered with an organization in Haiti with an office in South Florida, thinking they had connections to get the items to those in need. But the endeavor was easier said than done.
“They were trying to get room on a cargo ship to Haiti but it fell through a couple times. The cargo ship was going one day and then it wasn’t going another day, and it’s just sort of been up and up and down and all over the place,” added Bray.
Katy Meagher with CBS4’s Neighbors 4 Neighbors said those difficulties are not uncommon and that a lot of organizations have issues getting donated goods to another country because it can be hard to find transportation. She also said the items can get stuck in customs or even stolen.
“It’s always logistics. There’s always a problem with storing, transporting items,” she said. “And it becomes increasingly problematic when you’re going to another country.”READ MORE: Spacex's 1st Tourists Homeward Bound After 3 Days In Orbit
Because of the challenges she said the community should vet the organization they donate to or reconsider the type of donation.
“I always suggest give money or make sure your donating to a source like the big names, the Red Crosses of the world,” said Meagher.
Food For The Poor is among those larger organizations with a track record for getting donated items to those in need.
“Food For The Poor has been working in Haiti for over 35 years. So since this recent earthquake that has happened, we’ve been sending a lot of aid down to Haiti,” said Food For The Poor COO Mark Khouri. “And our office in Haiti has already sent 40 tracker-trailer loads of food and essential items to the people who are affected by this devastating earthquake.”
This week alone, Food For The Poor sent three containers of aid. CBS4 connected them with Bray and her items will be a part of their next shipment.
“I love the idea of picturing this tent going to this one family that would really, really benefit by having this,” said Bray. “It could be where they live and the water and the tarps and the sleeping bag and all the stuff. I love the idea.”MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs
And click here for a list of organizations gathering funds and supplies to help those in need in Haiti.