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Heinz Kerry visits hurricane aid center
9/15/2004, 6:05 p.m. ET
By SAM DOLNICK
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Teresa Heinz Kerry, encouraging volunteers as they busily packed supplies Wednesday for hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean, said she was concerned the effort was too focused on sending clothes instead of essentials like water and electric generators.
"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids," said Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. "Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes."
Heinz Kerry stopped by a market in the heart of Brooklyn's Caribbean community, where she spoke French with Haitian vendors and shook hands with volunteers busy packing food, clothes and other relief supplies to be shipped to several Carribean islands hit by Hurricane Ivan. Her husband's campaign donated water, blankets and first aid kits.
"I think it's important we help all the kids we can," Heinz Kerry said.
Ivan swept through the Caribbean last week, killing more than 60 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr., president of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and coordinator of the market's relief effort, said the visit helped make difficult days a bit brighter.
"It's a major boost for us and the community to show we have someone on a national level concerned with what's happening in the Caribbean region," Hastick Sr. said.
Supporters gathered on the sidewalk shouted "We love you," and "Good luck" as Heinz Kerry made her way to a waiting car.