Southwest Florida woman gathers support for Haiti after devastating earthquake

"I thought to myself: Oh God. When are they going to get a break? When are my people going to get a break?"
Posted at 9:28 AM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-15 11:38:04-04

SOUTHWEST, Fla. — "I thought to myself: Oh God. When are they going to get a break? When are my people going to get a break?"

Those are the words of Beatrice Jacquet Castor, as she tried to process just what happened Saturday morning.

A deadly earthquake struck the island country of Haiti, her birth country, early Saturday morning.

Jacquet-Castor tells FOX 4 that when she received a video from her cousin of the damage, she thought it was old video from the earthquake that struck the island in 2010.

"I was thinking those were pictures from previous devastation.There's nothing that came out of my mind that said it could've been another earthquake."

She soon realized that the video a cousin sent to her was from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island just 80 miles west of the country's capital Port-Au-Prince.

At the time of this report, more than 300 people have died and that death toll is expected to rise - that's according to the country's civil protection service.

Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry says some towns were almost completely destroyed and hospitals are overwhelmed.

This as more than 1,800 people have been reported as injured.

Search and rescue missions are now underway for a country already facing challenges of food insecurity during the pandemic and the assassination of its President Jovenel Moise.

Jacquet-Castor says, in addition, new concerns now linger for people impacted.

"People are not in the house. They're afraid to go in. If there's a building that is left, they're afraid to go in. They're out on the road because of the aftershock."

That's why back here in Southwest Florida, she's already thinking of what comes next.

"Where do we go from here?", she asks herself.

As a part of the Haitian American Community Coalition of Southwest Florida, and as someone who was born in Haiti with family still living on the island, she's now working with people and organizations in our area to get essentials to the island.

Some of those items, she says, include water, clothings, underwear and food.

Beatrice says the coalition is collecting financial donations, too, as they work to figure out how to get additional resources to the island.

Overall, she says, however you can help - it's appreciated.

"Keep the country in your prayers."

If you'd like to help, the coalition says they're accepting drop offs from 2pm - 5pm at

Landmark Building
3949 Evans Avenue, Suite 304
Fort Myers, FL. 33901

You can also mail a donation to that address.

For online donation information, click here.