NYers hold vigil for Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti

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CANARSIE, Brooklyn – Local Haitian-American gathered Sunday night to pray for their loved ones were struggling back home.

The headlines about the destruction in Haiti left behind by Hurricane Matthew may have faded from view but the issue is still on the minds of men and women with family back in their homeland.

"My mom is 92 and  her roof went because this happened in the middle the night," Elsie Louis said. "I don't know where my dear was."

"We weren't able to get in communication with my dad for a few weeks after it happened," Carlo Balthazar said. "We're still not quite sure what's going on."

Even in the midst of their personal pain, they lifted voices and stood together for support during a special prayer service for Haiti after Hurricane Matthew inside the Our Lady of Miracles church in Canarsie.

"We feel as a community of faith to pray together," Father Jean Moise Delva said.

It was a time to remember the lives lost in Haiti to Hurricane Matthew but also a time to give thanks.

Elsie Louis finally got the news she was waiting for on Saturday.

"Yesterday was the first day she was able to call us to let us know she was alive and well," Louis said. "Minus the roof, but at least she is well and she is OK."

Balthazar was also grateful.

"Supposedly he's OK but we haven't talked to him yet to know what exactly is going on," he said.

Matthew made landfall in Haiti as a category 4 hurricane. Death toll is around 1,000 people, but since the storm hit remote regions, the number could be higher.

"Our Haitian people don't want to leave anybody behind," Balthazar said. "Even if we don't have anything, we share the little we have. We take care of each other."

In addition to prayers, parishioners are also sending supplies.

"The Haitian Consulate in New York with the General Consulate, we partnered with them to collect stuff so we can ship them to Haiti," Florenal Joseph said.

United Nations Secretary Ban Ki Moon arrived in Haiti and he's begun coordinating the global humanitarian response.

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