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Postby John Lovaas » Jan 29, 2010 7:12 pm

Mark will take used or new tents, lightweight bag, and sleeping pads. We've sent two tents already, and I'll be drop-shipping another two new tents and 4 fleece bags and sleeping pads next week.

Please send to Mark Richey Woodworking
(address is below)

January 29, 2010

Dear friends, family, and colleagues,

I have just returned from a week in Haiti and I can honestly say that nothing could have prepared me for the unimaginable scene of destruction and suffering I witnessed in Port-au-Prince.

I went as a volunteer for Partners in Health (PIH) who have been in Haiti for many years doing incredible work organizing and facilitating medical teams and setting up successful health care centers. I also went to help out my good friend Jim Ansara who had flown down a few days earlier to help PIH with their earthquake relief efforts.

Jim and I did whatever was needed, providing temporary lighting and electricity, keeping generators going, emptying trucks of supplies, and setting up tents and camps to facilitate the many dedicated medical workers. Doctors, nurses, medics, and health workers from around the world and Haiti are doing an unbelievable job performing surgery and providing care for the wounded and dying in the most challenging of conditions. US and UN soldiers are providing essential security and maintaining order as well. Towards the end of my week, I was able to assist PIH volunteer engineer Chris Shrock in some preliminary damage assessments of other PIH hospitals in the central plateau region of Haiti. Thankfully, most of those hospitals were in pretty good shape.

Our donated tents are beginning to arrive now and are immensely valuable but they will need more, a lot more. There are over 100,000 people without homes. Port-au-Prince itself is in ruins and everywhere we traveled there were vast cities of makeshift tents occupying any clear space, sheltering thousands of homeless and terrified citizens. These camps are without water, sanitation, or amenities of any kind and are built of sticks, bed sheets, bits of plastic, and whatever they can find. During the day the heat is oppressive, there are mosquitoes, and soon it will rain.

Despite what is likely the greatest natural disaster in western civilization, the Haitian People show amazing courage and extraordinary resilience as they face the overwhelming challenge to survive and rebuild their country. One of their most immediate needs is temporary shelter. Please, if you have not given or you know of others that may have functional tents or lightweight sleeping bags, send them to us and we will get them to Haiti. There is no deadline but please send the items as soon as possible so we can make the most of every shipment.

Thank you for your help and support,

Mark, Teresa, and all of us at MRW

Please ship to:

Mark Richey Woodworking
40 Parker Street
Newburyport, MA 01950-4056

Or call if you have questions:
imbecile sheepherder.
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John Lovaas
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