Sen. Espada Joined By More Than 35 Bronx Clergy and Community Leaders to Announce Major Haiti Relief Effort

Pedro Espada, Jr.

January 14, 2010

New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., along with Bishop Fernando Rodriguez, president of the Latin American Chaplains Association, an international not-for-profit organization of clergy headquartered in the Bronx, were joined today by more than 35 of the borough’s clergy and community leaders to announce a major relief effort for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

At the behest of Sen. Espada, a team of 40 chaplains and other religious leaders, led by Bishop Rodriguez, will be dispatched to Haiti to deliver desperately needed emergency medical supplies, medication and bottled water to earthquake victims. Sen. Espada and Bishop Rodriguez have already secured a significant donation of emergency medication – including diabetes-fighting, antibiotics and other medicine – from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. They also announced that American Airlines has pledged to ship the supplies at a discounted rate.

During a 2 p.m. press conference Thursday, January 14, 2010 at Sen. Espada’s district office on East Fordham Road, the Majority Leader and Bishop Rodriguez were joined by several clergy and community leaders of the Bronx, among them Mount Hope Housing Company (Fritz Jeah, CEO), Bronx Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Frank Garcia, Chairman), Latino Accounting Association (Luis Parra, President), Love Gospel Assembly (Bishop Ron Bailey), and Community and Clergy United (Bishop Calexo Rodriguez). They called on the business community to respond to this crisis in Haiti as Pfizer and American Airlines.

“We are appealing to small businesses, corporations, the entire business community to join this effort in helping people who are suffering terribly a result of this devastation,” Sen. Espada said.

“To insure that these supplies reach the people most in need, we are sending a team of 40 clergy members on a mission of mercy, not only to deliver medical supplies and water, but to spend a week in Haiti to provide spiritual aid and any other type of assistance,” Sen. Espada said.

“As clergy members, it is important to help our neighbors. When we needed help on
9-11, many people and nations answered the call for us. Now we need to answer this call of distress for the people of Haiti in their time of need,” said Bishop Rodriguez, who heads the One Way to Heaven Church in the Bronx.

Learn how you can help by contacting Sen. Espada’s office at 718-220-5480.