Reminder: Can you help local group in shipping items to flood-ravaged Fiji?

For several months, the Fiji Community Association of Washington has been collecting clothes, food, medical equipment and related items aimed at helping thousands of people displaced by flooding in the Fiji Islands. Association members, many of whom live in Mountlake Terrace, are now hoping that the public will come forward to help them ship the donated items to those Fijians who are desperately in need.

Paulo Ralulu, president of the Fiji Community Association, contacted MLTnews recently asking that we spread the word about the association’s fundraising effort. According to Ralulu, the Fiji Islands were hit by consecutive floods in January, February and March. “There was extreme damages done to crops, roads, farms, homes, hospitals, schools and general devastation for the country,” he noted.

Before the association began collecting items, Ralulu contacted the Foreign Affairs Department in Suva, Fiji, which advised him that the Fiji Embassy in Washington D.C would assist with the cost of shipping the donations to Fiji. Now the organization has a container filled with items, but have received no response from the Fiji Embassy regarding financial help on shipping.

“We have collected bales of clothes, food, medical equipment etc.,” Ralulu said. “We just want to send it off to Fiji as soon as we possibly can.”

Ralulu said he has contacted three shipping agencies, and the cost of sending a 20-foot container to Fiji is between $4,500 and $5,200.

If you can help the Fiji Association with a donation, or know of a company that might be able to assist with shipping, you can contact Ralulu via email at pralulu@yahoo.com or by phone at 206-730-0846.

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