LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – It was the blast heard around the world.
Six months ago, Beirut was leveled after a large amount of ammonium nitrate exploded at the port, pushing an already struggling country even closer to the brink of collapse.READ MORE: Burbank Sues To Enforce Closure Order Against Tinhorn Flats; Seeks Permission To Cut Off Electricity, Padlock Doors
Denise Morillo is part of Cedars Relief, an ad hoc organization formed in response to the Beirut blast.
“There’s been a lot of economic issue issues, socioeconomic issues,” she said. “Lebanon has a huge refugee population. So really in the past couple of years, the whole country has just been spiraling downwards and the blast just sort of threw it over the edge.”
So far, Cedars Relief has arranged and shipped more than $5 million in medical supplies to Beirut.READ MORE: Firefighters Battle Blaze At Strip Mall In Paramount
It’s a great start, but Denise knows that there’s more work to do.
“We’re a group of diaspora, ranging from LA to San Francisco and we’ve been organizing medical shipments for Lebanon,” she said. “After seeing what happened to all the hospitals in the blast, the hospitals put out lists of medications that were needed and our organization within hours quickly organized, and started collecting all of these medications, which were very, very badly needed and still are badly needed.”
Denise says that so far they relied on donations and partnerships and they’re always looking for more help. Anyone interested in doing so is asked to visit the Cedars Relief website.
But for now, Denise and Cedars Relief will continue making a difference one shipment at a time.MORE NEWS: 'Absolutely Reckless': California Governor Slams Texas Move To Lift Mask Mandate
“We need more items,” she said. “It’s such a large problem that I feel like we’re barely starting to make a dent into it, but I do know that the people who need it have received what they needed and, and that’s really all we’re looking for.”