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Holidaymakers urged to help with aid in Haiti
January 19th, 2010 by elisa

Package holidaymakers to the Dominican Republic are being asked to donate unused items at the end of their breaks to help earthquake survivors in neighbouring Haiti.

More than $10,000 has been sourced through fundraising events in resort, which will go to help local initiatives such as convoys of essential, basic supplies over to people in Haiti.

Many staff in the hotels are from Haiti or have family there, so the money in the first instance will go towards helping their families and communities in this time of need, Thomson and First Choice said.

Communications director Christian Cull said: “Staff and customers in neighbouring Dominican Republic are particularly well placed to help and customers are being encouraged to donate toiletries and clothing, at the end of their holiday to convoys going over to Haiti, where they will be gratefully received.”

The sister operators’ in-house airline Thomson Airways has been liaising with the Department for International Development to offer free cargo space for aid supplies to Haiti via flights to the Dominican Republic. In addition, 40 free seats on flights over the next few days have been offered to the Disasters’ Emergency Committee to give to aid workers to reach the disaster zone as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic is flying aid along with key medical personnel, aid agency workers and rescue teams to the region. The airline has already committed to flying a minimum of 55 tonnes of cargo.

Virgin Atlanticpresident Sir Richard Branson said: “Everyone who has seen the sheer destruction in Haiti over the last few days will have been moved to help in any way they can. Virgin Atlantic and our foundation Virgin Unite, have been liaising with organisations working on the relief effort with the Disasters Emergency Committee to help deliver much-needed aid to the region. We will fly in as much aid as possible so that the agencies on the ground can respond to the needs of everyone in Haiti whose lives have been devastated by this tragedy.”

Amongst the aid being flown to the region is hundreds of ShelterBoxes which contain a disaster relief tent for up to 10 people, a stove, blankets and other items essential for survival.

ShelterBox Founder Tom Henderson said: “Our teams around the world are doing all they can to ensure aid reaches the people of Haiti as soon as possible. With each day the need grows and we’re doing everything to get help to the thousands of families affected by this tragedy.”

You can donate to the rescue efforts here.


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