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Hurricane Irma: Toronto woman sets up book sale to raise money for those impacted

Click to play video: 'Toronto woman sets up book sale to raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Irma' Toronto woman sets up book sale to raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Irma
WATCH ABOVE: Vicky Tsorlinis says she’s had many sleepless nights since Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean over the last several days. As Erica Vella reports, Tsorlinis and many other volunteers are coming together to raise money and goods to help those affected by the hurricane – Sep 9, 2017

Vicky Tsorlinis said she’s had many sleepless nights since Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda on Wednesday, an island in the Caribbean where approximately 50 of her relatives live.

“Everyday I go home to my husband and ask if there is news [and] so far we have not heard from anybody,” she said.

“You want to be able to hear their voices. You want to be able to hear firsthand what they saw and what they experienced and what they think they can do in the part of rebuilding not only their homes but their lives.”

READ MORE: ‘The storm’s here,’ Florida governor says Hurricane Irma assault on state has begun

While she hasn’t heard from her family directly, Tsorlinis said she has received confirmation that her family is currently in Antigua, after being evacuated earlier this week.

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But after seeing images of the devastation left by the hurricane, she was inspired to set up a book sale in the Beaches community in Toronto to help raise money to donate to those affected.

“I can’t do anything for people in Barbuda [directly], but I can do what I am capable of doing in Toronto to help them. If it means exposure or raising a few dollars … we can all do something,” she said.
Global Medic helped to package hygiene kits and family emergency kits in Mississauga to be flown to islands impacted by Hurricane Irma. Erica Vella/ Global News

As many as 90 per cent of homes in Barbuda were destroyed, and damage there has been estimated at $150 million, said Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister.

On Saturday, Tsorlinis set up a table with dozens of donated books out front of 1967 Queen Street East.

“All the books on the table are $5 and people can actually make a monetary donation,” she said.

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READ MORE: Hurricane Irma: What has happened and what is coming

Tsorlinis said she will be in the Beaches community on Sunday, and for the rest of September to continue to raise money for Barbuda.

In Mississauga, Global Medic brought volunteers to help package 2,500 hygiene kits and 500 family emergency kits that will be flown to those islands impacted by the hurricane.

Inside the hygiene kits are toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and aqua tabs that will purify water.

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“These kits are absolutely essential. Without them, families don’t have clean drinking water and they can’t keep their kids clean, so it’s important that we get it to them,” said Rahul Singh, executive director of Global Media.

–With files from Jesse Ferreras.

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