(Cambria Heights, NY)- Senator Malcolm A. Smith, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D-Brooklyn) and Haitian Americans United For Progress (HAUP) along with other local civic and elected leaders joined the Reverend Victor Michael Singletary and the congregation of the Cambria Heights Community Church for a prayer vigil in remembrance of the victims and families devastated by the massive earthquake in Haiti more than one year ago.
“The devastation that our beloved friends in Haiti had to face last year was almost unimaginable. We must continue to pray for the citizens of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding towns. A tremendous amount of hope, faith and courage is still needed for this country to recover and rebuild. It is important that we as Americans continue to support them,” said Senator Smith.
Senator Smith presented certificates to three organizations who continually offer support and services to the people of Haiti: Diaspora Community Services, Haiti Lumiere de Demain and Duch Travel.
"We must also continue to support those who are working on a daily basis to improve and enrich the lives of the people in Haiti. There are still more than one million people living in tents in Haiti. It is our responsibility as Americans to help not only the people of Haiti who are trying to re-build but to also help the organizations that are leading these efforts," said Senator Smith.
Councilman Mathieu Eugene said: "I am delighted to be here at this very important moment as we remember those who have suffered and those who are still suffering from the January 12, 2010 Earth Quake. It is important that we continue to work together and focus our energy to do everything possible to help our Haitian brothers and sisters who are in dire need of help."
Elsie Accilien, Executive Director of HAUP The lesson we take away from seeing the magnitude of the damage done by the Haiti earthquake is this: we need to build strong foundations upon which our community can develop. We must demand more of ourselves individually and collectively so that we all rise as one. Haiti will rise again!”
Reverend Victor Michael Singletary, Pastor of the Cambria Heights Community Church said: "I am privileged to serve as pastor of Cambria Heights Community Church and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Senator Malcolm A. Smith and other elected officials on this important issue seeking to meet the direct needs of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
(Malcolm A. Smith is the New York State Senate Immediate Past President Pro Tempore (2008-10)