The Champlain Towers South Condominium Collapse

HELPING THOSE IN NEED

At Kaye Bender Rembaum, our attorneys and staff are heartbroken for the victims and their families who are suffering as a result of yesterday’s Champlain Towers Condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida. We offer our hopes and prayers to the heroic efforts being led by first responders who are searching for victims in the rubble and where over a hundred people are still missing. 

While the cause of this tragedy will likely take months to determine, there is already speculation that the building may have been sinking at different rates at different locations by a rate of two millimeters per year, which may have contributed to the catastrophic collapse 

The Miami Herald graciously published an article to let you know how you can help those in need as a result of the collapse. Selected portions are re-printed below with the hope that together we all can make a positive difference.

How to help victims of the Surfside condo collapse

BY DEVOUN CETOUTE AND CARLI TEPROFF

Published by the Miami Herald on JUNE 24, 2021 06:12 PM:

To Read the article in its entirety, please click this link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252341023.html#storylink=cpy

As news of the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside spread across the nation, organizations began efforts to support victims who were forced out of their homes in the wee hours of the morning with little to nothing.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday that the county is working with the American Red Cross, the county’s social service agency and police and fire departments “to make sure those people are properly situated.”

“This is a predominantly Jewish community and we’ve had the rabbis and chaplains on hand,” she said. “The people in the community center are getting the support they need. Not only are they getting hotel rooms, they’re getting help with their medicine, with blankets, with clothing, because there they are with nothing.”

From the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to Florida Blue, here are ways victims can find aid and others can help donate supplies.

Jacob Solomon, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, said he went to the scene to “get a better handle on what the needs are.” Solomon said rabbis from across South Florida and from every denomination showed up to offer support and prayers. Israeli Consul General Maor Elbaz-Starinsky also went to help comfort those affected by the collapse.

“This is a gut-wrenching scene,” he said. “The real challenge is going to be in the long term.” Solomon said the federation will set up a fund that will go directly to the families to “help them rebuild their lives.” He also said that people are encouraged to call 2-1-1, which is the Jewish Community’s 24/7 hotline that can help with housing, counseling and other services. If you have been affected by the collapse, you can call 211 to learn how to get services.

By 3:30 p.m. the Greater Miami Jewish Federation had put together a campaign to help Surfside building collapse victims.

“Be part of the Jewish community’s response,” the federation said in a mass email. “Help those affected by the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, FL.” The “emergency assistance fund” will help take care of short-term and long-term needs. The federation teamed up with Jewish Community Services of South Florida, and Mishkan Miami, the Jewish Connection for Spiritual Support to provide financial assistance, chaplaincy support, crisis counseling and social services. The federation says that 100 percent of funds collected will be used to provide assistance to those affected.

Checks with the notation “Surfside Building Collapse” can be mailed to: Greater Miami Jewish Federation, 4200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. For more information about the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s special relief funds, call 305-576-4000.

OPERATION HELPING HANDS

Operation Helping Hands is a partnership between United Way of Miami-Dade and the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald that was created in 1998 in the aftermath of hurricanes Mitch and Georges. Since then, it has been reactivated in response to disasters and other emergency situations such as the COVID-19 global pandemic and now, the aftermath of the building collapse in Surfside. Here’s how to support and assist families with their short- and long-term recovery needs:

MIAMI HEAT, KNIGHT FOUNDATION AND OTHERS TEAM UP TO CREATE HARDSHIP FUND FOR VICTIMS

The Miami Heat, the Miami Heat Charitable Fund, the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Miami Foundation are working together to build a hardship fund for those impacted by the Surfside building collapse. This hardship fund will allow residents both locally, and nationwide, to give toward relief efforts.

Contributions to the fund can be made here.

AMERICAN RED CROSS

The American Red Cross is at the scene of the collapse helping authorities with rescue efforts. It offers several online and mail options for donating.

To donate online visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html.

For those who want to donate by check or to a specific cause, there is a donation form that must be printed and sent to: American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839. To donate by phone or to get assistance with your donation, call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669). For Spanish, call 1-800-435-7669, and for a TDD operator call 1-800-220-4095.

SHUL OF BAL HARBOUR, SKYLAKE SYNAGOGUE ASK FOR ITEMS IN DONATION TRIAGE

A steady flow of donations is pouring into the Shul of Bal Harbour, where on Thursday evening a group of around 20 volunteers unloaded crates of food, blankets, and more to be distributed to community members displaced by the condo collapse.

An online donation fund set up by the Shul of Bal Harbour had raised more than $160,000 by Thursday afternoon from over 1,300 donors.

Donations will be “dispersed as needed directly for the victims and families” of the building collapse, according to the website the Shul set up.

“People are coming together more than ever,” said Ryan Mermer, a member of the Shul and the community engagement coordinator for Holocaust Heroes Worldwide. “The community is coming together.”

Mermer said that at noon he started a WhatsApp group for community service in the Surfside Jewish community. An hour later, 50 people had joined. The Shul and Young Israel of Bal Harbour, a Jewish youth group, have set up donation sites in the neighborhood, including one in front of the Shul, a large Orthodox synagogue. Community members are being asked to bring items to the Shul at 9540 Collins Ave. Donation items include: blankets, phone chargers, sweatshirts, Advil, water and snacks, according to the email flier. A security guard outside the synagogue said community members have been bringing donations for families whose homes were destroyed in the building collapse.

The Skylake Synagogue, at 1850 NE 183rd St., is also asking for donations, which will be sent to the Shul of Bal Harbour. The Skylake Synagogue is also asking for people who can drive vans to take items.

Items being asked for by Skylake are:

  • Sweatshirts
  • Phone chargers
  • Drinks
  • Blankets

Once again, to read this article on its entirety please click this link or copy and paste it into your browser: 

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252341023.html#storylink=cpy

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