Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On the ground in Haiti

I hope you had a great Fourth of July, and that you were able to kick back, relax and enjoy time with family and friends. But while many of us were barbecuing and hanging out with loved ones over the three-day weekend, the Clean the World operations staff was working overtime to make sure we had 2,000 pounds of soap sterilized, wrapped, packaged and ready to ship out this week.

On Monday, our William Lowry trucked those 21,000 bars down to Fort Pierce, Fla., so they could be weighed in and loaded on one of the Douglas DC-3 aircraft operated by Missionary Flights International. Then at 7 a.m. Tuesday, William was on board as the plane departed for its twice-weekly flight to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

All 21,000 bars will be distributed tonight at a church service attended by thousands of local residents each week. And with every bar handed out, we’ll be one step closer to helping the residents of Cap Haitien celebrate their independence from diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection.

Of course every bit of this process costs money. We have to pay for everything from the electricity to run our sterilization equipment to the gas for the airplane. And this past weekend, we were blessed to receive a significant corporate donation that could not have come at a better time. Our good friends at The Seller Sourcebook made a contribution that, ironically, is exactly the amount we needed to pay Missionary Flights for the transportation to Haiti this week.

When Kristen from SSB expressed an interest in donating to Clean the World, we didn’t discuss any particular upcoming expenses, and she had no idea how much this trip was going to cost. But she was moved to donate the exact amount we needed at exactly the right time.

You should have heard Clean the World executive director Shawn Seipler when he called me on the afternoon of July Fourth to tell me he just received a notification of the donation. If it’s possible to do high-fives over the phone, then that’s exactly what Shawn and I were doing at that moment. It was a thrill and a relief to know the expenses of the upcoming Haiti shipment were covered.

So thanks to Kristen and the entire team at The Seller Sourcebook, who provide affordable auction tools, image hosting and a large selection of templates to meet the needs of eBay sellers.

We’ll have pictures and more details about the trip to Cap Haitien in the coming days. And in the meantime, if you are moved to help our cause, please visit our donation page. We sincerely appreciate every dollar you can give.

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