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L.A. Haitians gather at Echo Park restaurant for answers, to mourn

A crowd of Haitians came together at a popular Echo Park restaurant Thursday night to raise money for the earthquake relief effort and to plan for the recovery of their native country.

George Laguerre, owner of Tigeorges’ Chicken, said he organized the gathering so expatriates would have a place where they could support one another and relatives back in Haiti.

Wearing his chef’s jacket, Laguerre made his way through the small, colorful restaurant, greeting friends and helping coordinate donations.

All of the contributions would go to the Yele Haiti Foundation, he said. “There is a real need to bring Haitians together,” Laguerre said. “Haiti is in desperate need of help.”

A line of customers reached out the door and television trucks lined Glendale Boulevard in front of the restaurant. One woman passed around pastries and another wrote down names of people wanting to help. Several people ate plates of chicken and rice and drank cans of soda.

Clelie Voltaire, 41, of Inglewood said she hadn’t been able to reach her relatives in Haiti since the earthquake hit and was worried that they may not have survived.

“I called and called and nobody answered,” she said.

Dan Ielcharlier, 43, of Corona said that his aunts and uncles in Haiti were uninjured but that their homes were destroyed.

The images of the country are shocking, he said. “It’s just really emotional,” Ielcharlier said. “The country already has no hope. It’s really, really sad.”

On the other hand, Ielcharlier said, “it brings a lot of attention to our country.”

Rapper Won-G, who is from Haiti, said he came to the restaurant to offer his support.

Earthquakes in other countries had touched him, but, he said, “when it’s knocking on your door, it’s different.”

-- Anna Gorman in Echo Park

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

Why aren't these people volunteering to go to Haiti to sift through rubble...The rapper guy will probably sing a rhyming song about the tragedy, but will actually go there and help...why ask why...

yeah, why ask why...maybe they aren't going there because no one can get in, maybe they can't afford it. Why are you using this story to attack them? Hateful.

I live near Tigeorges. This man is so kind on just the normal day. George makes you feel so welcome while serving up the Haitian food , his roasted coffee from Haiti, and all the stories of his homeland. I can see why this is a gathering place for the people affected to come together. I feel so bad for all the families affected. Good for him for helping out and bless Haiti !

@bigpicture Do you really think that passenger flights are landing for them to sift thru the rubble ? Heartless comment towards people who's country and probably most of there family are in peril. Why don't you stop your sarcastic hate and DONATE !

I think it's great that Tigeorges’ Chicken is not only donating, but organizing a place for individuals to come support one another and the community of Haiti.

I also wanted to share a Chinese restaurant in San Gabriel by the name of Tasty Choice that will be donating one week's revenue to the help Haitian survivors. This was confirmed recently on their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Gabriel-CA/Tasty-Choice/101749995562


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