Drop Off Donations at Miami Fire Stations to Help Venezuelan Children in Need This Holiday Season

Fire rescue stations all around the city of Miami will open their doors this holiday season to help children in need in Venezuela.

City officials announced Tuesday afternoon the approval to authorize the use of fire stations as collection centers to receive humanitarian aid for the South American nation.

"This is a crisis that's in much bigger proportion that the Syrian refugee crisis," Commissioner Joe Carollo said.

Seven Venezuelan non-profit organizations are working together with the Red Cross to get the donations to Venezuela or near the border with Colombia. Requested items include clothes, diapers, baby food and toys.

"Let's help these people that are suffering so much just because they don't agree with the type of government that has been imposed on them," Commissioner Manolo Reyes said.

According to the United Nations, 3 million Venezuelans have fled economic and political crisis in their country.

The exodus is driven by widespread food and medicine shortages, violence, and hyperinflation.

"About 85 percent of the individuals and residents of the city Miami are going through or have gone through the same thing the Venezuelan people are going through," Commissioner Willy Gort said. "Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, all those countries. I'm asking all of you that have gone through this to please open your hearts."

The organizations hope to get the items to the Venezuelan border in time for Christmas. All 14 fire stations in the city of Miami are accepting donations through Dec. 15. 

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