Orlando hotelier Harris Rosen, working with Florida Senator Bill Nelson and members of Orlando's Haitian community, has initiated a drive to raise $1 million to aid the people of earthquake-devated Haiti. Rosen has started the campaign with a personal donation of $250,000.
For the Rosen hotels -- and many others of the Central Florida tourism industry -- the crisis has hit close to home, literally. According to Rosen spokeswoman Mary Deatrick, approximately 30 percent of the 4,500 workers in the Rosen chain of hotels are from Haiti or of Haitian descent. It should be no surprise that a good number of the people who clean the rooms, make the beds and work in restaurant kitchens are Haitian. They're co-workers and neighbors, and they need assistance.
According to a press release from Deatrick: "Rosen and his internal team met with Senator Bill Nelson and several leaders from Orlando’s Haitian community to determine the immediate needs of those affected by this week’s earthquake. Along with cash needed to buy supplies, the group is collecting first aid kits, medical supplies (bandages, gauze, peroxide, etc.), blankets, towels, washcloths, hygiene products (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.), antibiotics and bug spray. No clothes, shoes or food will be accepted at this time. Rosen is also working with pharmaceutical vendors via his onsite Rosen Medical Center to secure donations of medical supplies."
One hundred percent of donations received through the Harris Rosen Foundation will go to relief efforts, said Deatrick.
Supplies may be dropped off at Rosen Centre hotel, 9840 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819 or at First Haitian Baptist Church of Orlando, 4701 Lenox Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32811 or at the Child development Center of Orlando, 11553 Winter Garden Vineland Rd., Orlando, FL 32836. Monetary donations may be mailed to the Harris Rosen Foundation, memo: Haiti Relief, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. The Harris Rosen Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (FEIN #59-2890420). For more information, call 407-996-6715 or visit Rosen's Web site.