Surfside condo collapse: Here’s how to help victims

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Organizations sprang into action Thursday to help victims who were forced out of their homes after the partial collapse of a 12-story condominium in South Florida.

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Portions of the Champlain Towers South condo crumbled to the ground early Thursday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told the Miami Herald that county officials are 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,” the mayor told the newspaper. “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.”

>> Surfside condo collapse live updates

“This is a gut-wrenching scene,” Jacob Solomon, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, told the Herald. “The real challenge is going to be in the long term.”

Here are some of the fundraisers that have been started for the victims.

Greater Miami Jewish Federation: The Greater Miami Jewish Federation announced a fundraising campaign, sending a mass email that urged people to “be part of the Jewish community’s response.”

“Help those affected by the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside.”

Checks with the notation “Surfside Building Collapse” in the memo can be mailed to: Greater Miami Jewish Federation, 4200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137.

>> Surfside condo collapse: 5 things to know about Champlain Towers South

American Red Cross: The American Red Cross is offering several online and mail options for people who wish to donate.

To donate online, visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html. For those who want to donate by check, there is a donation form that must be printed and sent to: American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.

Shul of Bal Harbour: An online donation fund set up by the Shul of Bal Harbour raised more than $285,000 by Thursday evening. People can also send checks to Shul of Bal Harbour Inc., 9540 Collins Ave., Surfside, FL. Donations are also accepted by telephone at 518-323-0376.

Skylake Synagogue: The Skylake Synagogue in Miami is also asking for donations, the Herald reported. Donations will be forwarded to the Shul of Bal Harbour. The Skylake Synagogue is also asking for people who can drive vans to take items to victims. The synagogue is collecting sweatshirts, phone chargers, blankets, pillows, snacks and drinks, the newspaper reported. The synagogue is located at 1850 NE 183rd St. in North Miami Beach.

Catholic Charities: Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami says Catholic Charities and local clergy are joining relief efforts.

“We all woke up this morning learning about the tragic news of the partial collapse of a 12-story condominium in Surfside,” Wenski said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to all those affected by the tragedy.”

Foundations: The Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Miami Foundation, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund are asking residents to contribute to The Surfside Hardship Fund. Donors can use PayPal or debit or credit cards. You can find the link here.

Florida Blue: Florida Blue, along with New Directions Behavioral Health, is offering a free grief counseling helpline 24 hours a day. Anyone in Florida is eligible and insurance is not needed. The helpline can be reached at 833-848-1762.

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