Garage sale to assist Cuban tornado victims

A refrigerator is seen inside a house damaged in a Jan. 28 tornado in Havana, Cuba. Organizers in Cayman will hold a garage sale on Saturday to help raise funds for the victims of the twister, which killed six people. - Photo: AP

A garage sale to raise funds to help victims of last month’s deadly tornado in Havana, Cuba, will be held on Saturday in Grand Cayman.

Organizers say they are hoping to raise funds to help families and individuals affected by the tornado, which killed six people, injured more than 170 people, and damaged nearly 3,500 homes.

The Category F4 tornado ripped through a substantial portion of Havana City for 16 minutes, uprooting trees, tearing down power lines and ripping off hundreds of roofs.

The tornado was a part of a larger storm that resulted in flooding in low-lying provinces of Pinar Del Rio, Artemisa, Regla, 10 de Octubre, Guanabacoa and Mayabeque.

Organizers of the fundraiser in Cayman say they will be sending cash to tornado victims. They said members of the public can donate cash the same day of the garage sale or by approaching a group member before the event.

Cesar Cruz, one of the organizers, said there has already been a good response from the local community to the appeal for donations. “We already have 15 to 20 boxes, and people are also giving cash. Companies are also behind us … People have been calling, calling, calling,” he said.

The garage sale will be held at the Tortuga headquarters in Industrial Park in George Town. Unsold items will be donated to the Red Cross.

“The proceeds raised from this event will be sent to trusted members from the three most affected communities, Regla, 10 de Octubre and Guanabacoa. They will be responsible for gathering information, dispersing the funds to the families in need and documenting how it is spent,” organizers said in a press release.

“We have seen the power of the Cayman community, and its generosity when it comes to supporting our brothers and sisters afflicted by natural disasters, whether that be here in Cayman or even on the other side of the world. Now more than ever, our Cuban brethren need our help, and we are asking you to help us, help them stay strong,” the release continued.

People who wish to donate goods for the garage sale can deliver the items to the Tortuga warehouse on Redgate Road or by calling organizer Cesar Cruz at 326-4748.