An extraordinary earthquake requires an extraordinary response – a response that The Salvation Army has been able to mount due, in no small measure, to the collaborative efforts of Federal Express, UPS, and DHL. In fact, within the first month of this disaster, The Army delivered 558,000 pounds of relief supplies for the suffering people of Haiti.
“The logistical precision of this operation is amazing,” remarked Major George Polarek, Assistant Director of The Salvation Army’s World Services Office. “From point of origin to point of delivery, we have depended on the generous support and expertise of these transportation giants.” To date, among other items, 2.6 million meals, nearly 3,000 tents, and 8,710 pounds of medical supplies were delivered to Haiti.
“Fed Ex filled a critical logistical gap in our delivery of goods to our launching point in Miami,” according to Bob Myers, Logistics Chief for the Haiti Incident Command Team. “We could not get food to Miami fast enough. It was taking 3 days, which was unacceptable in light of the circumstances. Through Fed Ex’s generous donation of their Custom Critical system, food was delivered to Miami, from anywhere in the country, in less than 36 hours.” The expediency of this delivery is due to the use of two drivers in one truck driving nonstop.
Myers added, “Without the use of Fed Ex’s Custom Critical, we would not have been able to ship over one million meals to Haiti within the first ten days. Their generosity directly saved lives.”
From Miami, UPS flew relief supplies into Port-au-Prince. When they could not fly into Port-au-Prince, they flew into Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, then trucked the supplies over the mountains for distribution in Haiti. UPS’ ensured that The Army was able to keep much needed supplies moving into Haiti
DHL provided valuable storage space at the Port-au-Prince Airport. In addition, when there was no fuel available for sale, DHL provided free fuel for The Army’s delivery vehicles. Without this support, relief supplies would not have gotten to the devastated areas.
Polarek explained, “We are keenly aware that our relief efforts are only possible through partners such as Fed Ex, UPS, and DHL. They enable us to be the hands of Christ to suffering people.”
The Salvation Army responded immediately to the earthquake, with local Salvationists quickly joined by international personnel. The Salvation Army has assumed responsibility for the care of nearly 20,000 people living in the temporary camp near its compound in Port-au-Prince. In addition, service sites are located in Petit Goave and Jacmel and distribution sites are in Croix-des-Bouquets (6 mi east of PAP) and Balan (18 mi east of PAP). Its medical clinic continues to treat more than 250 people a day on-site, with several transfers daily to the hospital.
To assist in this effort, the public may contribute to The Salvation Army’s “Haiti Earthquake” fund. Donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word “HAITI” to 52000, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Also, donors may give via donate.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and through the mail at: The Salvation Army, Haiti Disaster Relief, PO Box 80066, Prescott, AZ. 86304-8066 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.”
In Haiti, The Salvation Army operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities through some 60 Corps community centers across the country. One Salvation Army facility, or compound, includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the National Palace and is in an area known as St. Martin that is home to predominantly poor living in the nation’s capital.