KIND hearted local people have helped put smiles on the faces of poverty-stricken families in Haiti.

The Huddersfield Jamaica National Council (JNC) has been busy collecting children’s clothes and first aid equipment to send to the Caribbean island devastated by an earthquake in January.

Members of the Jamaica National Council appealed to friends, family and the community for help and people have responded in their droves.

They have amassed a huge batch of goods including clothes, toys and shoes which have been packed and are ready to be shipped abroad.

The group aims to continue their mission to help struggling families by organising further donations to the country.

Chairwoman Joan Flowers said: “We felt that if we could help one child then it would all be worthwhile so we started collecting items and raising funds.

“We asked members and friends of the council to help out and local businesses have been very generous in donating new gifts.

“The response has been very good and we’ve got a few big boxes full of items ready to be shipped out.”

The items have been stored without charge at Stadium Self Storage and will be sent free by shipment company Transpakship.

Joan added: “We have been very moved by the plight of these families, particularly as we are a group of Caribbean heritage.

“We want to help the young particularly because there are thousands of orphans and other Haitian children displaced by the earthquake.

“They are living in tents with mud and are grateful for anything they are given. A simple toy can help give their lives a brighter outlook.”

The group have set up an appeal account at the town’s Lloyds TSB branch to help raise funds for their continued work in Haiti.

Donations can be made to the Jamaica National Council Haiti Children’s Appeal, sort code 30-94-43, account number 34802768.

The council wanted someone to co-ordinate the donations in Haiti and contacted United Nations worker Yvonne Lumb of Almondbury

Yvonne is returning to the country later this month to help with the relief effort in both Haiti and neighbouring Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School may be Elland’s smallest school, but its pupils have the biggest hearts.

One hundred youngsters helped raise a staggering £2,272.49 to help victims of the Haiti earthquake.

The money was raised over several weeks through a variety of fundraising events at the Hullen Edge Road school since the devastation took place.

They presented the money to Hazel Metcalfe, president-elect of Elland Rotary Club.

The cash will be used to fund Shelter boxes for victims still struggling after the earthquake.

Hazel said: “I am more than over the moon, I am thrilled with how much they’ve raised.

“It’s the smallest school in Elland but they are so supportive.

“They raised around £1,000 for us after the Pakistan earthquake – it really is just an amazing school, the way they always try to help is wonderful and the children and their parents and the staff are so generous too.

“We have a long term commitment to helping Haiti. The rainy season is due to start so we’ll do what we can to support the people there.”