In the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, several Haitian NFL players rallied to provide relief to the island. They included Pierre Garcon and Rickey Jean Francois of the Washington Redskins as well as Baltimore Ravens’ player Elvis Dumervil.
ESPN reported Garcon – the son of Haitian immigrants – quickly jumped at Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s offer to have him help bring medical resources to Haiti. Ahead of the flight, Garcon asked Project Medishare about the supplies Haitians needed. He then rounded up a slew of items, including intravenous saline for cholera treatment, gauze and medical wipes.
And on Monday, Garcon, Jean Francois and communications senior vice president Tony Wyllie made landfall in Haiti.
“These people are dying here,” Garcon told ESPN of the 900 lives lost and thousands displaced by the hurricane. “For us to provide the medical supplies and keep someone alive, just giving them IVs, that’s a life-changing thing where we can help.”
Snyder also personally invited Jean Francois to deliver medical supplies. Jean Francois, also of Haitian descent, told The Washington Post monetary donations are fine. But he emphasized the importance of volunteering time.
Next stop Haiti… 🛫 pic.twitter.com/sBHxJXn4Uh
— Ricky Jean Francois (@Freakyjean99) October 10, 2016
“I understand it’s easy to pick up the phone,” he said. “And put your debit card down or your credit card down and donate $100 or $200. But what’s really real to us – our people of Haiti – is to see your face here and seeing you put the time in. Put the work in, put the sweat in to rebuild our country.”
Ahead of Matthew’s terror, The Undefeated reported Ravens player Dumervil completed construction on 24 homes in Bercy, Haiti. Tallying $400,000, Dumervil – whose parents are Haitian – guided 58 Homes For Haiti to create the homes that survived the natural disaster. Named after his jersey number, 58 Homes’ goal is to build 58 houses for residents in partnership with the not-for-profit citizens group Mission of Hope.
Now, Dumervil is partnering with nonprofit New Story to rebuild homes affected by the hurricane. The Baltimore Ravens website reported the Haitian government gave more land to provide secure dwellings.
“Being from Miami, I understand hurricanes and how often they come,” Dumervil said. “But Haiti just doesn’t have the structure to withstand those types of things. It’s fortunate that we were able to help people in this story. But there’s a lot more work that needs to be done.”