By CBSLA Staff

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.

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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.

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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.”

A general view shows the damaged grain silos of Beirut’s harbour and its surroundings on August 5, 2020, one day after a powerful twin explosion tore through Lebanon’s capital, resulting from the ignition of a huge depot of ammonium nitrate at the city’s main port. – Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis. The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles (240 kilometres) to the northwest. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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“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.”