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Charity seeks clothing for Haiti

Call for donations: Natalie Simmons during a 2012 trip to Haiti with an island resident (Photograph supplied)

A charity appeal is seeking unwanted clothing and footwear donations to help the people of Haiti.

Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished nation last month — triggering flooding, killing more than 1,000 people and sparking a humanitarian crisis.

Natalie Simmons from Devonshire has already collected 12 boxes of clothes and shoes from friends, which will be sent to the Church of God Liberated in the often overlooked area of St Raphael, Haiti.

Now she is expanding her appeal and aims to amass as many men’s, women’s and children’s items as possible by this Thursday afternoon.

“I think that the poverty in Haiti speaks to many people’s hearts, and there is much more that can be done,” she said.

Ms Simmons, who works as a senior claims specialist at insurance company XL Catlin, has spent the past 15 years supporting the people of St Raphael.

She has visited Haiti twice, in 2009 and 2012, and says that the population struggles financially to clothe itself.

“Clothes tend to be very expensive there, and shoes certainly wouldn’t be on the top of their priority list. They tend to rely on donations and hand-me-downs,” she said.

Courier company DHL will fly all donated items out of Bermuda free of charge, and the goods will reach Haiti this weekend, along with clothes and shoes from a separate appeal in the United States.

“Haiti can never get enough help, because of the level of poverty and unemployment that exists there,” Ms Simmons said.

“Lots of people are clearing out their summer wardrobe. If there’s something you or your child have outgrown, or just don’t want anymore, please send it on to St Raphael.”

Clothes and shoes can be delivered by 4pm on Thursday to Mailboxes Unlimited on Par-la-Ville Road or to the DHL office on Burnaby Street.