Tropical Storm Noel relief fund set up

Queens residents now have the ability to assist in the Tropical Storm Noel relief effort with a few clicks of the mouse.
Banco Popular has set up an account to which monetary donations can be directed, announced State Senator Malcolm A. Smith in a statement released Sunday, November 4.
Smith said he has donated $1,000 to the relief fund, and urges all New Yorkers to help out in any way they can.
“I felt compelled to respond to this disaster,” said Smith of Noel, which has killed 117 people in the Dominican Republic, 43 in Haiti and one in Jamaica. “Two days after the storm hit the Dominican Republic, rain was still falling, making it difficult for rescuers to reach communities cut off by flooding.”
An additional 50,000 people have been forced from their homes in the Dominican Republic.
Through the collaboration of relief organizations like World Vision and Caritas Dominicana, the Dominican Disaster Relief Fund has been established and is currently accepting donations. The number of the account to which Banco Popular users can directly send funds is 6805554638.
Citibank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo Bank have also set up accounts for disaster relief.
Money raised for disaster relief typically funds food and drink provisions, as well as plastic sheeting for leaky roofs. Larger-scale needs, like burials, counseling for survivors, and repairing homes, may also be necessary, officials say.
Assemblymember Jose Peralta has also joined the relief fund.
Peralta and the Guardian Angels, a group of volunteers working internationally for public safety, recently announced a food and goods drive to benefit the thousands who have been displaced in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
In order of importance, drive organizers are asking for water, rice, beans, cooking oil, powdered milk, canned foods, cereals, medicine, blankets, sheets, mosquito nets, small cots, clothing and shoes. Goods can be dropped off at the trailer on 104th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.
“We must act now,” said Peralta. “We are asking the community to give what they can, but also to give what is needed only.”
Curtis Sliwa, president and founder of the Guardian Angels, said his organization will “ensure that the supplies collected…reach their proper destination.”
Leonel Fernandez, president of the Dominican Republic, declared a state of emergency after Noel destroyed more than $32 million in roads, bridges, homes and other buildings.
Smith said he and other lawmakers are currently “trying to get accurate information and are closely working with relief effort organizations.”

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