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Brooklyn Haitian Bakery Collects Donations for Hurricane Matthew Victims

By Camille Bautista | October 10, 2016 5:15pm
 Kafe Louverture on Halsey Street is collecting supplies to send to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Kafe Louverture on Halsey Street is collecting supplies to send to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
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DNAinfo/Camille Bautista

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — As a Category 4 hurricane hit Joanne Saget’s home country of Haiti, she and husband Anthony Cunningham immediately jumped into action from more than 1,000 miles away.

“With Hurricane Matthew, it was devastating for us because the country has been through a lot since the [2010] earthquake and they haven’t fully recovered,” said Cunningham, 38, who began collecting donations at his Brooklyn coffee shop for the storm's victims. 

“This is a grassroots effort, people getting together to help bring Haiti back. This is a beautiful thing right now.”

Cunningham and Saget, who own Haitian bakery Kafe Louverture at 392 Halsey St., near Marcus Garvey Boulevard, started gathering items when the hurricane made landfall in the Caribbean country on Oct. 4.

While Saget’s relatives in Haiti are safe, according to her husband, hundreds were killed in the storm, according to reports, and thousands more are in need of assistance and shelter.

“It’s a beautiful country, the people are beautiful, they are resilient. By nature they are strong and unbreakable,” Cunningham said.

Photo credit: DNAinfo/Camille Bautista

With the help of neighbors and friends, the duo has filled 10 large barrels with supplies in less than a week, he added. 

It’s not the first time the husband-and-wife team have lent a helping hand. Over the past years, they've traveled to Haiti to host skateboard and toy giveaways for children during the holidays.

Some paintings, trinkets and other items on sale at Kafe Louverture are also imported from Haiti and proceeds support the artists, Cunningham added.

The team, which is working with a partner organization in Miami, Florida, is looking for donations of flashlights, batteries, can openers, diapers, soaps, feminine products and other toiletries.

Cunningham said he hopes to fill 300 barrels with supplies.

“It’s not about us, it’s about Haiti,” he said. “We ask people to keep up the individual grassroots movement and keep on donating and doing what we can to rebuild Haiti.”

For more information on donations, email alcunningham815@gmail.com.