Supporters of the Haiti Rehab Project gathered in Proctor Park Saturday. They were racing to raise money for the organization that is determined to help Haitians in need. They tell Time Warner Cable News reporter Melissa Krull although the earthquake took place five years ago, the devastation continues.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Some of the people injured during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti are still in need of medical care. A group of volunteers is hoping to change that through the "Haiti Rehab Project."
"I was there initially when it was still prevalent in everyone's mind, but we leave there and their disabilities and their struggles don't end. And now, these are people that are disabled in an environment that doesn't have access to things that we have here," said Karly Streisfeld, a member of the Haiti Rehab Project.
The organization's mission is to support rehabilitation and medical clinics, orphanages, families, and outreach programs for those with special needs in Haiti.
To raise awareness and funds, they held their second 5K run event.
"We're here in the United States, and it's tough kind of getting some recognition as far as getting adaptive equipment or even medical equipment. I can only imagine how hard it is to try to get that equipment in Haiti or any other country that's been devastated... whether it been an earthquake, flooding, anything like that," said wheelchair racer Hermin Garic.
And their efforts are being noticed.
Ginger Oliver, founder of the Haiti Rehab Project said, "There's a lot of Haitians in Utica who have definitely been very supportive and excited about the work, and offering to help anyway they can as well."
The group is hoping to raise about $10,000 to open and sustain a medical clinic in Haiti. As a contestant on the show, American Ninja Warrior, Streisfeld raised $3,000 for the project but there's still a ways to go.
"Obviously Haiti is not like America so it doesn't require the same kind of funding, but when you have a small grass-roots organization, you know, anything we can get will help because we are starting from the bottom. We don't have any funds", said Streisfeld.
Organizers estimate that they raised about $1,500 Saturday.