Our hearts are heavy this week and our prayers directed to South Florida in the aftermath of the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, just outside of Miami. In the early hours of Thursday morning, Champlain Towers South, a portion of a high-rise condo building on the beach in Surfside, Florida suddenly collapsed. Emergency response crews arrived immediately, pulling those they could to safety and have worked tirelessly for the last three days straight in attempt to find survivors in the rubble. The search is difficult and dangerous, and our hearts are broken for the families waiting for word of their loved ones who may be trapped in the debris. As of Saturday night, there are five confirmed deaths but still over 150 people whose whereabouts are unknown.
But as often happens in these tragic situations, the helpers have arrived. Various non-profit groups are on the ground assisting the families and the first responders alike. If you would like to contribute to their aid efforts, see the list of options below.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is on the ground and helping those residents who've been displaced with finding shelter as well as resources for emotional and spiritual support. Donate here.
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation has established an emergency assistance fund for both short term and long term financial assistance. Working together with Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS) and Mishkan Miami, they will also be providing chaplaincy support, crisis counseling and social services. Donate here.
Shul of Bal Harbour and Skylake Synagogue
The Shul of Bal Harbour has set up a fund for monetary assistance for those directly impacted by this tragedy and you can donate here. Skylake Synagogue is also collecting items needed for those who've been displaced. Items requested include, sweatshirts, phone chargers, drinks, blankets, pillows, and snacks.
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Catholic Charities, Local Archdiocese of Miami
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami says that Catholic Charities are joining local clergy to assist the community. They plan to provide counseling, food gift cards, and house assistance. Donate here.
Our friends at Mercy Chefs are serving in the way they know best, by showing up in the aftermath of disaster and they are providing warm, hearty meals for the first responders and will continue to serve where they are needed. Donate here.
World Central Kitchen
Our friend Chef Jose Andres and his team with World Central Kitchen have also arrived on scene to provide meals to both the rescue crews and deliver meals to the family reunification center as the loved ones of those in the building and residents who've been displaced wait for news. Donate to their efforts here.
We are keeping these families and brave heroes who've answered the call to search for survivors in our hearts and our prayers.