Local organizations and non-profits have assisted in many ways since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti last month. The historic City Market in downtown Charleston has a direct connection with Haiti. City Market Preservation Trust spokesman William Gilliard III says Charleston’s history with Haiti dates back to the 18th Century. In 1793, when the Market was under construction, it was used as a refugee camp for refugees during the conflict in Haiti.
“Charleston had trade ties and commerce with Haiti. Sugar cane, plaintains, that sort of thing. But, it was a unique because it was opportunity for us to step up and really support them in that time of crisis. Well, we fast forward 200 years later, the City Market, at this point, is positioning itself once again to really respond once again to the crisis in Haiti during this earthquake disaster. We have merchants in our Market who have family members in Haiti who they have not spoken to. So, it’s really a call to action and a movement for us to respond,” says Gilliard.
Through Sunday, February 14th, the Market’s vendors will sell t-shirts at each table for $10.
“It’s a two-fold donation drive. What we have going on is a t-shirt donation drive which goes directly to benefit our Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross. We have done well with that, we have already raised thousands already with that t-shirt donation drive. The other component of our donation drive is an online auction that we have at our website: thecharlestoncitymarket.com,” says Gilliard.
The donation drive has been successful already since it has been running since January 30.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley says “The residents of Charleston know full well the value of a helping hand. I am always filled with pride when our citizens find a way to reach out to others in need.”