Video by Annabel and Macy Claprood
By: Sharon Aron Baron
Residents in Coral Springs have banded together to help Hurricane Harvey’s tiniest victims.
Elyse Claprood is heading up a baby supply drive to help out families that are in shelters around the Houston area because she said that babies are the most vulnerable victims.
“When Hurricane Wilma hit, the government shut down and there was no formula for the babies at all,” said Claprood. “There were babies being born everyday, and some of the patients were high-risk and were unable to breastfeed. That’s when I learned that the government could not support the tiniest people in those situations.”
Currently working at Broward Health, Claprood served as the Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC) Program Coordinator at the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital at Broward Health Medical Center. She is also the past board president for Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of Broward County, a community service provider which helps women access prenatal care, education and is also dedicated to reducing infant deaths.
A former colleague of hers who just moved to Katy, Texas and works Memorial Hermann Hospital is now volunteering at a shelter where they have very little supplies so Claprood, on her own time, put the word out to her Heron Bay neighborhood through the NextDoor app and said that items came flying in.
“Thousands of diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers and baby food. I had to pack things so quickly because everything kept coming,” she said. “The neighborhood is amazing, I couldn’t believe it.”
Friends from the groups 365JeepLife, Paradise Jeepsters and Mega 4X4 will be hauling their own trailers and transporting them to shelters in Houston. However, due to Hurricane Irma posing a threat to South Florida the trip is being reevaluated.
“If we are hit, or even the path to Texas impairs the safety of the Jeepers, that could pose another threat. I hope that does not happen. I want my friend and her shelter to receive these items,” she said.
In the meantime, Claprood said that they are still looking for items. “We’re looking for new baby items: powder, diaper, wipes, medication, mosquito repellant without DEET, sunscreen, Tylenol, Motrin and baby wash.
Donations are being accepted by Sugheilee Rodriguez, from Paradise Jeepsters in South Florida. Contact her at 954.536-8336 for drop off information.