Friend Ships is loading its first of two commercial containers to go to Haiti this week. The local all-volunteer international relief ministry is responding to the devastation of the Aug. 14 earthquake.
The earthquake resulted in at least 1,941 deaths and injury to at least 9,900 people, with hundreds still missing. Officials say 30,000 families are homeless.
The country is already struggling with the pandemic, gang violence and political instability. Several hospitals were severely damaged compounding the problems.
Tropical Depression Grace brought heavy rain, flooding and landslides after the earthquake.
“Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere,” said Sondra Tipton, Friend Ships. “We have taken ‘Ships’ there nine times. Six of these were following the 2010 earthquake.”
A Friend Ships team stayed in Haiti for nine months providing help after that earthquake.
“We have a very strong, secure avenue of receipt and a solid distribution network in Jeremie, one of the hardest hit cities,” Tipton said.
Friend Ships has provided aid in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, North American and the Caribbean. It’s also served right here in the Lake Area after the hurricanes even though its own losses were great.
The first shipment will be primarily water, rice, tarp, clothing, hand sanitizer and some medical supplies.
Friend Ships is located at ‘Port Mercy’ on the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles. To volunteer, contribute goods or donate, contact friendships.org to find out more.
Written by Rita Lebleu