HAITI (WISH) — A missionary from Indiana is doing everything she can to help the people of Haiti after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. The death toll is now reported at more than 280 people.
Jessica Eugene said she moved from Cicero, Indiana to Haiti to work for a non-profit mission.
Her group spent the last couple of days checking on families living in some of the hardest hit areas.
“I’m seeing a lot of devastation with flooding and people losing their homes,” said Eugene, who is the director of mission for Damou Christian Mission. “A lot of elderly and children without homes and on top of that comes no food no water and no medical attention that they need.”
The devastation from Hurricane Matthew is unbelievable to see in pictures and videos. Jessica Eugene lived through it.
“Everybody kept telling me it was going to be bad and it’s going to be the worst one that we had in over nine years,” she said. “Everybody kept telling me you need to leave the coast line because our mission is right on the coastline and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave my family, I couldn’t leave my people.”
Eugene moved to Haiti six years ago to work for Damou Christian mission. Her aunt started the mission 30 years ago.
The mission is made up of mission homes, an assisted living facility for seniors, a church, and a school. They have more than 500 students and that’s not including staff.
“We know that there’s some that are unaccounted for so we’re hoping on Monday we’ll be able to reach out to everybody and hopefully everybody will be accounted for,” she said.
Since Monday, Eugene said her mission has been passing out more than 100 boxes of food to people in need.
“They said they haven’t gotten any local government help at this time and no one has been out to check out on them,” she said. “They were very grateful to hear that we cared about them and that we were thinking about them and that we brought them what we could.”
But the supply is running low. The mission is now in desperate need of food, water, and medical supplies.
“We have to replenish that not only that we need to be able to give more back to the community,” she said. “We also had some damages here at the mission home water damages, electrical damages.
Eugene knows the next coming days and weeks will be challenging. She said education will be key with people looking for clean water to drink.
“What’s coming next is going to be worse than the hurricane and that’s going to be sicknesses cholera, malaria those are the main things that will hit us the hardest after a natural disaster,” she said.
Eugene said this will be her second natural disaster. Her family survived the deadly earthquake in 2010.
Click here if you would like to help the mission with the relief efforts.
Click here to track the mission’s progress on Facebook.