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Patchogue rallying to aid earthquake victims in Ecuador

People in Patchogue Village are working to help earthquake victims back in Ecuador, with two big fundraising drives already planned for this weekend.

The 7.8 quake that struck Ecuador’s northern Pacific Coast — followed by several hundred aftershocks and a level 6.2 earthquake early Wednesday — have thus far claimed the lives of about 500 people, according to published reports.

And the death toll is climbing.

Patchogue and the surrounding areas have a large Ecuadorian population.

“… an earthquake that seems so very far away is actually quite close to many of the 1/3 of the population of Greater Patchogue who are Latino, and many of whom are from Ecuador,” said the Rev. Dwight Wolter.

Rev. Wolter will hold a 10 p.m. “Service of Contemplation and Commitment” Friday at the Congregational Church of Patchogue, located at 95 East Main Street.

Most of Patchogue’s Ecuadorians come directly from Gualaceo, a small city in southern Ecuador. Others move from Bulcay-Bulzhun, a town only a few minutes from Gualaceo.

The big quake’s epicenter was in the country’s northwestern Pacific coast. According to CNN.com, the hardest-hit area was Manabi Province, where roughly 200 people were killed.

Manabi Province is just about a seven hour drive from Gualaceo.

Before the special service, from 6 to 9 p.m., funds will be collected in several Long Island communities with numerous Ecuadorian residents, including Patchogue, Bay Shore, Medford, Brentwood, and Central Islip. (Drop-off spots listed below.)

Those funds will then be brought to the church.

Donations can also be dropped-off at the following places or brought to the church service at 10 p.m.

  • Supermarcado Bravo, 179 South Ocean Avenue
  • Express Amazonas, 82 East Main St, Patchogue
  • EZ Cash, Pawn & Jewelry, 1913 Brentwood Rd. Brentwood
  • Consulado Salvadoreno, 151 Alkier St, Brentwood
  • Canchas en General, Patchogue area
  • Congregational Church of Patchogue, 95 East Main St.

The money collected between 6 and 9 p.m. will be sent to the Red Cross to assist victims of the earthquake, Rev. Wolter said. The brief service is open to all.

Then on Sunday, Fundacion Lucero de America is hosting a fundraising event at Patchogue Village Hall. That drive will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NO clothes are needed, organizers said. But there is a need for baby formula, canned milk, can openers, canned food, water, toiletries, and medical supplies, to name a few.

Volunteers are also needed Sunday. Email coad.patchogue@gmail.com to help.

Also, people looking to locate family for friends in Ecuador should refer to the below information (below video) being circulated by the American Red Cross.

ARC RFL Ecuador April 2016

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com