Shipment Of Aid - Oct. 28, 2010

Another Shipment of Aid - Bound for Haiti and the Dominican Republic

On Thursday, October 28, 2010 several volunteers gathered at the Medical Missionaries warehouse in Bristow, Virginia, to prepare another sea container with supplies for Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Some of the supplies were for St. Francis parish in Banica, and St. Joseph parish in Pedro Santana, the Dominican Republic.  Many were for Medical Missionaries' St. Joseph Clinic in Thomassique.  The list of contents for the sea container changed shortly before the shipping date in order to include some supplies that will be needed if the current outbreak of cholera in Haiti reaches Thomassique.

The sea container arrived at our warehouse early.  Only a few volunteers were present and ready to load one of the biggest items, a spare front axle for our trucks in Banica.  You will see later, when a second axle is loaded, just how much of a chore it was.

There was great relief when a large group of students from Seton School in Manassas arrived to help.  Things began moving quickly.

The students quickly organized themselves into teams on the ground and in the container.  They formed lines to move a large quantity of lumber, headed to Haiti to build a new wing for visiting teams at the clinic.

Many hands and good organization helped move the materials quickly.  The entire 40' container, which holds about 40,000 lbs. of goods, had to be loaded in three hours.

Within a few minutes, the students had the system well organized.

Different goods required different approaches but always, many hands made light work.

These cabinet doors will soon become part of the finishing touches on a new wing being built at the clinic to accommodate overnight patients.

While the students were loading lumber and other construction products in the sea container, other volunteers were lining up additional supplies, such as this crate containing a statue for the church in Banica.

The students probably thought that the time would never arrive, but once the construction materials were in the sea container they had time for a short donut break.

After the donut break, it was back to work, loading hundreds of boxes of soap, medical supplies, hygiene kits, toothbrushes, nutritional supplements, and other supplies vital for the smooth running of the clinic in Thomassique.

Many of the supplies are stored in the Medical Missionaries trucks shown in the background.  Others are brought in on smaller trucks just prior to shipping.  All had to be off-loaded from one truck and put into the sea container.

As the sea container started to fill up, it was time to get the hoists ready to lift the second truck axle into the sea container.  Dr. Irwin gets some help from the Seton students.

With the hoists in place, the front of the boxed axle was lifted off the transport truck and placed in the sea container.

Then it took a lot of manpower to move the 3/4 ton crate onto position.  A series of steel pipes carefully placed under the crate let the crew "roll" it to just where it had to be.

Lots more boxes, wheel chairs, walkers, crutches, and other very-needed supplies were loaded to top off the sea container.  By the time the doors were closed, the Seton students had contributed more than 65 hours of help.  These hours will count toward their required "service hours."  We are thankful to them and their faculty advisor, Mrs. Munson.

Many of these same students will run in Seton's annual "Haiti Run" in a few days, raising funds to provide a hot lunch every school day to about 3,000 school students in Thomassique.  We thank them for all the support they provide to Medical Missionaries and the people of Thomassique.

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