Local Liberian community sends help to Ebola patients

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Members of the local Liberian community have been working for weeks to collect and send donations to help stop the spread of Ebola.

Bolo Howard is a social worker who moved here from Liberia 14 years ago. This week, she lost both a brother and a sister-in-law who still lived there to Ebola.

Howard says her brother, a married father of five, called an ambulance on Tuesday when he started to feel weak.

It arrived Wednesday and took him to a clinic that lacked basics including food, IV drips and other medicine. By Saturday, he was dead.

"It has been so devastating for us here, for us just living here, because every day you wonder, what other call is going to come in because these calls are coming and it's not good," Howard said.

Howard's story is a familiar one in Philadelphia's Liberian community.

Few families have been spared.

That's why members of the Liberian Ministers Association of the Delaware Valley have been collecting supplies, to send to organizations including church groups and Doctors Without Borders, on the ground in Western Africa.

Shipping the supplies to where they're desperately needed is expensive. That's why the ministers are teaming up with the Mayor's Commission for African and Caribbean Affairs to collect financial donations starting Tuesday.

The Red Cross is also collecting money to provide supplies and support for their 4,000 volunteers who are in West Africa working to stop the spread of the disease.

"These donations go straight to the ground to help those workers be safe and to help advance safety in the community," Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. said.

Action News is hosting a phone bank Tuesday night to raise funds for the fight against Ebola. Members of the Ministers' Association and the Red Cross will be on hand to take your donations. Every donation could help save lives.

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