CARIBBEAT: Many pitching in for ’cane relief

It is a gross understatement to say the 2017 hurricane season is testing the resolve of Caribbean people, their governments and their institutions, coping with a lack of running water, electricity, passable roads and other damage. This season has sparked critical conversations about long-term considerations, such as prepping for the effects of global climate change and stricter building standards, but the immediate focus is on the relief efforts for victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Over the coming months, I’ll detail aid initiatives such as these: Dominica Diaspora in N.Y. pitches in Hurricane Maria’s immense damage to Dominica is still being assessed, but the New York-based Dominica-American Relief and Development Association is already helping and encouraging assistance from the public. Founded in 1981 by New York area folks aiding the island's recovery from Hurricane David in 1979, DARDA has set up a gofundme page,, for monetary contributions. Working with the Dominica government, the funds will be used "specifically for relief efforts including purchasing goods and supplies to benefit the areas/individuals most in need as well as infrastructure rebuilding." Individuals and organizations can also contribute today, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., at St. Lucia House, 438 E. 49th St. in Brooklyn, or JAPS Auto Clinic, 770 South Columbus Ave. in Mount Vernon, in accordance with the New York Consulate for the Commonwealth of Dominica. Details on the needed, Dominica government-approved supplies can be found on the website of DARDA, which has also setup a wish list on “as a convenient way for concerned individuals to purchase relief items that have been requested by officials in Dominica.” Visit the DARDA website at The wish list of supplies on can be found at Disaster updates Continue Reading

Haitian runners representing Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization take on NYC Marathon

Haitian marathon runner Carline Lamour wiped away tears as she spoke of her chance to compete in Sunday's New York City Marathon. The 21-year old student, who's making her first visit to the United States, says she's endured both physical and mental challenges to become an athlete in her country as it continues to rebuild after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Long days filled with school followed by training were often peppered with ridicule from villagers. "People wonder, as a woman, `Why are you running?'" she said through her translator. Holding back tears, she added, "God brought me here today with my determination." Lamour is one of five runners representing the island nation for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, the nonprofit started by actor Sean Penn after the earthquake ripped through Haiti, taking the lives of more than 100,000 people. The organization continues its work to bring sustainable programs to the country and save lives. Last month, after returning from Port-au-Prince to watch the runners train, Penn told The Associated Press, "I love their great discipline and spirit." The five Haitian athletes are sponsored by the organization's "Long Run for Haiti" campaign on the online CrowdRise fundraising site. Each got their position on the 10-person team by finishing in the top spots of a 20-kilometer qualifying race in Haiti in June. Besides Lamour, the other Haitian members are Bertine Laine, Astrel Clovis, Petrus Cesarion and Jean Macksony. These elite athletes join forces with five other runners, including actress Pamela Anderson, to make up Team J/P HRO. Clovis, a 43-year-old mechanic, won the men's qualifying race this summer. He's also the most experienced with numerous half-marathon victories in Haiti. He ran his first full marathon in the Dominican Republic, claiming second place with a time of 2 hours, 42 minutes. Cesarion, a 27-year-old mechanics student, finished second in the qualifying Continue Reading

Trump pledges $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief

WASHINGTON — President Trump will personally contribute $1 million toward relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said."I had a chance to speak directly with the president earlier and I'm happy to tell you that he would like to join in the efforts of a lot of the people that we've seen across the country," she announced Thursday.Sanders said the president had not yet decided which relief organization to donate money to. And, as Trump has before, she said he would enlist the help of the White House press corps in helping to decide. More: Trump donates part of salary to National Park Service More: Trump donates his second-quarter salary to Education Department "He's actually asked that I check with the folks in this room, since you’re very good at researching and have been doing a lot of reporting into the groups and organizations that are best and most effective in helping," she said. "And I will take those, if any of you have them."Sanders also provided no details on which account Trump would spend the money from. He has turned over nominal control of his Trump Organization to his children and has also used the Trump Foundation to make charitable contributions.After a trip to Texas on Tuesday to talk to state and local officials, Trump plans to return to the Gulf coast region this weekend. The White House said he's tentatively planning to visit Houston and Lake Charles, La.  Continue Reading

Warner Bros. launches African hunger relief campaign using Justice League superheroes

This looks like a job for Superman. DC Comics' superhero team the Justice League has been recruited for a two-year, multimillion-dollar campaign to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa region, parent company Warner Bros. announced at a press conference Monday. Through its "We Can Be Heroes" campaign, the media conglomerate promises at least $2 million in donations, including matching consumers' donations, over the next two years to a trio of African hunger-relief organizations: Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps. “The fact that we’re able to take what we do and use it to raise awareness — and inspire action — around a cause as important as this is gratifying," Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros.' Pictures Group, said in a statement. "With the support of the entire studio and our Time Warner sister companies, this campaign, like the DC Comics superheroes, will make a great impact on an important issue.” The Horn of Africa — the eastern peninsula comprising Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti — has been devastated by the worst drought and famine to strike the region in six decades, with 13 million in need of critical assistance and 250,000 facing starvation in Somalia alone, according to the relief organizations. For more information on how you can help, see Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Japan relief: How to help the earthquake and tsunami victims

The recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has left millions of people homeless, missing or worse.Many New Yorkers want to contribute to the relief efforts, but don’t know how. The Daily News wants to help you help those in needYou can aid the victims of these horrible tragedies by making a contribution to the Daily News Charities, Inc. The Daily News will send every penny of every dollar directly to relief organizations on the ground in Japan.Daily News Charities, Inc. and mail to: Daily News Charities, Inc.New York, NY 10116 Your gift is fully tax deductible under the Daily News Charities, Inc., Federal I.D. #13-6169151. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Sanderson Farms contributes $2M to disaster relief efforts

Sanderson Farms Inc. has donated $2 million to disaster relief efforts — $1 million to the American Red Cross to aid in recovery efforts for people devastated and displaced by recent back-to-back natural disasters and $1 million to Samaritan Purse. The Laurel poultry producer also donated over 500,000 pounds of chicken, ice and supplies to those hit hardest by the devastation.“Sanderson Farms has vital facilities in several communities impacted by the recent hurricanes, and our chicken is sold and shipped to customers in both Puerto Rico and Mexico,” Joe F. Sanderson Jr., CEO and board chairman, said in a news release. “We are saddened that these hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires have directly impacted our neighbors, many of whom are our business partners and loyal customers. We are committed to doing everything that we can to assist the recovery efforts during this time of great need.”Nearly 16,000 Red Cross disaster workers have been mobilized to support relief efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. In the past nine weeks, the Red Cross has provided over 1.3 million overnight stays at emergency shelters in eight states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Red Cross has served more than 6.7 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 5.7 million relief items to people in need.In addition, the Red Cross has over 470 workers in California where more than 27,900 overnight stays have been provided to people seeking refuge from wildfires in 30 Red Cross shelters. The organization is providing support in Mexico where media reports more than 153,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. The American Red Cross works closely with the Mexican Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid and assistance during large emergencies and is committing $100,000 toward the Mexican earthquake relief effort.Samaritan Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization based in Boone, Continue Reading

FedEx raises disaster relief aid to $3 million, airlifts supplies to Puerto Rico, Mexico

FedEx is donating another $1 million in cash and services for hurricane and earthquake relief efforts, bringing to $3 million its disaster relief commitment since Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast.The Memphis-based transportation company has been flying at least two relief flights a day to Puerto Rico since the San Juan airport reopened a week ago in the wake of Hurricane Maria."FedEx has moved 1,000 tons of relief on 18 flights to Puerto Rico so far," FedEx spokeswoman Rae Lyn Rushing said Friday. "That relief included food, water and medical supplies. We are working with numerous relief organizations including Direct Relief and Heart to Heart International."FedEx’s shipments to earthquake-ravaged Mexico included water treatment systems to supply clean drinking water to 30,000 people a day. More: FedEx sends cargo jet loaded with military-style meals to Houston for Harvey victims “The people in these hard-hit communities are in desperate need of help,” said FedEx Corp. president and chief operating officer David J. Bronczek.“In difficult times like this, I am proud to be a part of a company that uses its global network to provide essential, often lifesaving resources. FedEx will continue to deliver relief when and where it’s needed most,” Bronczek said.In addition to the latest shipments, FedEx prepositioned relief supplies in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and South Florida before the hurricanes hit.FedEx chairman and chief executive Frederick W. Smith told CNBC on Wednesday that FedEx was moving supplies and equipment to the island for its partner charities."We have relationships with a number of charities like Red Cross, Heart to Heart, Direct Relief, Water Missions, Salvation Army, Team Rubicon. We take their gear in and we’re moving it in at a very rapid rate, as is the military. We’ve gotta get the power on, that’s the biggest problem," Smith said.The Astros Foundation, charitable arm of the Continue Reading

Wyclef Jean Haiti relief group Yele may get $3M donation from Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is considering a $3 million donation that would send doctors and supplies to Haiti, rap icon Russell Simmons told the Daily News. "Tiger Woods is working on sending a mobile hospital with 50 EMTs to go set up a triage," Simmons said Wednesday night. Simmons and representatives from Wyclef Jean's Haitian relief organization Yele have asked Woods to support the effort. Simmons spokesman has been in touch with Woods managment team and they are "excited" about the idea. "I am waiting to have the conversation [with Tiger] tomorrow morning," Simmons' spokesman Marcus Harris said. "I am hopeful that it is a yes." "I am just asking for his heart and his hand," he said. "Just to meet the needs of the people." Simmons wants celebrities and hip hop artists to join the relief effort in the wake of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, killing untold thousands and destroying the city. He reached out to several big names in the hip hop community to discuss producing a song for the country, he said. "Wyclef shouldn't be the only face of this," said Harris. "If you can get a great song by a superstar it will be a cry for help. It will be an everlasting memory. A strong song will inspire." A Haitian relief effort would be Woods first foray into public life since he took an indefinite leave of absence from golf following a massive sex scandal. The Tiger Woods Foundation has put millions toward education and support projects for children around the world since 1996.   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Kansas-Missouri ‘Showdown for Relief’ exhibition raises over $1.75 million

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri finally got back together on the basketball court, teaming to raise money for hurricane relief in a "Showdown for Relief" exhibition. Devonte' Graham scored 25 points in the Jayhawks' 93-87 victory.The last time Kansas and Missouri met in basketball, Devonte' Graham was a sophomore in high school.That was in 2012, before the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC and Jayhawks coach Bill Self swore off renewing the Border War despite decades of history, tradition and vitriol.Five years later, Graham finally got the chance to face the rival. In an effort to raise money for hurricane relief organizations, Kansas and Missouri squared off in the "Showdown for Relief" exhibition Sunday at the Sprint Center in which the Jayhawks came out on top 93-87, thanks largely to Graham's 25-point effort. MORE:While the additional game will certainly serve as valuable experience for the teams as they prepare for the start of the regular season, both sides stressed that the true importance of the matchup rested in raising the highest amount of money possible."To raise money for hurricane relief I think is tremendous for everybody involved, not only the states of Kansas and Missouri but also the country," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. "So it's a great gesture, and we really appreciate the support of the fans to jump on board.""It didn't have anything to do with us wanting to play Mizzou," Self said at Kansas' media day last week. "It had everything to do with how can we send the most money to those victims."It's safe to assume they will be content in that department, as over $1.75 million was raised through a combination of ticket sales, text donations and purchases of the game's $40 pay-per-view stream. The funds will be donated jointly to five charities: the Houston Harvey Relief Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Florida Disaster Fund, Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the U.S. Virgin Islands.Kansas State and Missouri Continue Reading

5 charged in scheme to defraud Dolly Parton’s wildfire relief fund

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Five people have been charged in an elaborate scheme to defraud a fund set up by singer Dolly Parton to aid Gatlinburg wildfire victims.Parton, a Sevier County native, established the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund soon after last year's wildfires, which claimed 14 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.The scammers made off with roughly $12,000 before the alleged plot was unmasked, records show."It's unfortunate but when something good happens, there's always a handful who want to exploit things," said David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation. "They went through extremely elaborate means." More: Gatlinburg: Firefighters' logs reveal desperate tug-of-war with flames More: Dolly Parton pledges additional $3 million to Tennessee fire victims Debra Kay Catlett, her son, Chad Alan Chambers, and three associates — Rocco Boscalia, Ammie Lyons and Esther Pridemore — are charged in a sealed presentment handed up by a Sevier County grand jury earlier this year with a conspiracy to defraud the My People Fund.Chambers is alleged in the indictments to be the chief architect of the scam, although it was his mother's database of rental properties that made it possible, according to records reviewed by USA TODAY Network-Tennessee.Those records show Catlett had worked as a photographer for real estate publications in Sevier County and as a result had a database of rental cabins complete with addresses and owners' names.Using that database, the alleged scammers identified cabins that had burned and, using property tax records, drew up fake leases and forged the owners' signatures.The scammers then allegedly used the forged leases to obtain temporary driver's licenses with those corresponding addresses via a service the Tennessee Department of Safety had established to help wildfire victims whose licenses had been lost in the fires.The indictments allege the scammers presented the Continue Reading