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Black Unity Coalition brings hurricane relief supplies to forgotten communities

Posted at 9:26 AM, Oct 10, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Black Unity Coalition, a Palm Beach County based group, is headed to Fort Myers to bring hurricane relief supplies to areas it says are being left out of the loop.

The group is made up of Black community and religious leaders and spent the weekend collecting donations of water, non-perishable food items, and hygiene kits.

"I made a call out to the community and had an overwhelming response," said Richard Ryles, President, Palm Beach County Black Caucus. "So here we are with physicians, community leaders, with community activists and the like, and just regular plain folks who saw that need and wanted to address that need."

The unity coalition left from the Tanger Outlets in West Palm Beach Monday morning around 5:30 a.m.

"This will be an ongoing relief effort," said Ryles. "We're going over today. We're going to give out everything that we have on the bus with us today. We're going to assess what those needs are going forward, and we'll be back shortly after that."

Ryles said the group is going to the Dunbar and Harlem Heights communities of Fort Myers, areas he said are not within walking distance of the relief sites.

"We're going to provide the needed resources to folks who just don't have the means or the access to receive the hurricane relief supplies that are being given to other communities," said Ryles.

Ryles said the newly formed coalition is made up of the following groups: Palm Beach County Black Caucus, Faith Florida, Florida Rising, Unify, Black Ministerial Alliance, T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, Black Nurses Association, NOBLE (Black Law Enforcement Officers), Palm Beach County Clergy Alliance, Riviera Beach Youth Recreation Association, Florida East Coast Baptist Association, Haitian Volunteer Association, and the National Action Networks Central Florida Chapter.

The pilgrimage coincides with National Indigenous People Day, formally known as Columbus Day.