With prayers and donation drives, residents across Queens are mobilizing to help the thousands of people affected by last weekend’s massive earthquake in Ecuador.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed hundreds and destroyed homes and infrastructure across a swath of the South American nation. The tragedy is not lost on the tens of thousands of Ecuadorian residents who call Queens home.
In recent days, many gathered at the Ecuadorian consulate on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside to offer their condolences, provide donations toward relief efforts and attempt to contact family members in Ecuador. The consulate hosted a press conference with local elected officials including state Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya outlining the response to the earthquake and how local residents can help.
The consulate has set up a number of drop-off locations where residents can bring essential items for the earthquake victims including blankets and sheets, mattresses, canned foods, boxed beverages, hygiene products, baby food, medical supplies, battery-powered radios, mosquito nets, flashlights, paper plates and plastic utensils, batteries, packing tape, garbage bags, cardboard boxes, toys and food kits. Clothing, perishable food, water, money and medication will not be accepted.
The locations include the following:
- Local 78, 11-74 43rd Ave., Long Island City;
- Local Elmhurst, 34-50 104th St., East Elmhurst;
- Pollos Gus, 80-26 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights;
- Ecuazona Radio, 96-16 35th Ave., Corona;
- Sisa Pakari, 67-10 Roosevelt Ave., Woodside;
- Local Queens, 98-01 97th St., Rego Park;
- Adventist Community Services, 41-26 58th St., Woodside;
- Divertida Radio, 86-12 102nd St., Richmond Hill;
- Cunany, 37-09 91st St., Jackson Heights; and
- Radio Impacto, 91-16 43rd Ave., East Elmhurst.
Donations are also being accepted directly at the Ecuadorian consulate in Queens at 67-21 Roosevelt Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, call 212-808-0170 or visit contigoecuadorny[@]gmail.com.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable announced that all residential calls to landline and mobile numbers in Ecuador will be free of charge to its customers through May 19.
Congressman Joe Crowley, who represents western Queens, also announced a bipartisan resolution with Congressman Daniel Donovan of Staten Island announcing the U.S. support for the people of Ecuador in their time of need. Ecuador formally requested help from the U.S. government as it recovers from the quake.
“The loss of life in Ecuador is tragic for the country, as well as for the Ecuadorian-American community here in the U.S.,” Crowley said. “The road to recovery will be long and difficult for the people of Ecuador, and I’m pleased that the U.S. government has pledged assistance.”
Moya, Crowley and Peralta are holding a candlelight vigil tonight, April 20, at St. Leo’s Church in Corona (104-05 49th Ave.) for the victims of the Ecuador earthquake. The vigil takes place at 7 p.m.