February 2, 2010
Paul Timmons, head of Portlight, has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News at our Atlanta location for a story that will follow one of our shipments from the Atlanta warehouse to its distribution in Haiti. This story will be aired in several parts starting late this week. When scheduling information is given to us we will post it here. Paul has additionally been interviewed on WBAI NY, and that interview can be heard here. Paul will also be on KFPA radio in Berkley, CA at 2pm PST Friday. Tune into KFPA and hear firsthand about Portlight's work in Haiti.
Ron will be on The Barometer Bob Show Thursday night outlining our ongoing efforts in Haiti. You can follow along and ask questions through the chat room at the show. We here at Portlight want to thank Bob for his continuing support; he has been a good friend to Portlight and we appreciate his efforts!
The following are specific updates on ongoing projects:
Our primary site coordinator, Richard Lumarque, has been in Haiti for 5 days and has been moving fairly freely from the base at the Quisqueya University; he has been looking at properties that have been offered for tent cities in the Leogane area as well as making contact with a number of people that have been in contact with us here in the US about specific issues. He has contacted the village leaders at Dufort and is working to arrange food deliveries to them.
Further, the latest shipment is expected to be in the Dominican Republic on Thursday. Given the overland route required by the damage in Haiti, we hope to have this shipment in Haiti late in the day on Friday. The delivery and distribution of this shipment will be covered by NBC Nightly News as a part of the aforementioned piece.
We have several additional shipments queued up for transport, including the remainder of the donation from H&H Wholesalers and these will be sent in the next several days; we are investigating a number of additional shipping opportunities that will facilitate quicker lead and delivery times.
We are still working to get a large truck on site as soon as possible; we were informed that the deuce and a half would have to sit in customs for some 3 days prior to shipping to clear the title and other paperwork. In the meantime, a smaller truck has been acquired on site to help with transportation of supplies.
The acquisition of the larger truck will be a uniquely Weather Underground community initiative. We will place WU signage on the truck and we will be able to post photos of it at work in Haiti; the WU truck will be a long term, tangible symbol of the generosity of the WU community. We want to thank Gina Cirio (WaterWitch11) and her husband for their ceaseless efforts in locating a suitable truck for us.
We would also like to take a moment and thank Dr. Jeff Masters and Wunderground for their continued and unwavering support as well as generous donations. Over the years the Wunderground community and Dr. Masters have helped Portlight get our message out and we are truly grateful for all the support and devotion. This community has been the genesis of our efforts and we cannot thank the great people of the WU community enough for all that they have done to make our efforts successful.
Haitian Nursing Foundation:
Through the efforts of Riki Chomsky, contact has been made with the Haitian Nursing Foundation whose Leogane campus is located SW of Port au Prince. While the city of Leogane was nearly 90% destroyed by the earthquake, the Nursing School was largely spared and a tent city has sprung up; a large number of disabled have been housed there. Further, the Leogane hospital was also spared serious damage and is operational. We have been in contact with the administration at the nursing school and they have been supplied by their parent organization, the Medical Benevolence Foundation. They will, however, keep us posted as to any needs they might have that we can fill.
As you can see, we are making significant strides in Haiti but we can't do any of this work without your help; we are receiving donations of food and medical supplies (both durable and clinical) but we can't do this without the money it takes to ship the goods that are being donated. We have a large number of donations initiatives either ongoing or in the works, but what really helps, in regards to getting these supplies on the ground, is you; your smallest donations are helpful, so give, if you can! The Paypal donation button is the quickest and best way for you, as an individual, to make a difference in this disaster.
We would like to thank Methodist Habitat for their continuing help in ferrying supplies and personnel into Haiti. Their largesse and the bravery of their pilots have been critical in getting materials into Haiti. Like Portlight, Methodist Habitat is accepting donations and they are looking for aircraft and experienced pilots to further aid in the relief efforts; their website is Methodist Habitat.
While we're taking monetary donations through this site, we are also taking donations of tangible materials at our warehouse in Atlanta. Remember, clothing is a secondary issue here; what is most desperately needed is food, durable and clinical medical supplies and other tangibles like tools, outdoor gear, clinical supplies, etc. The address for the Atlanta warehouse is:
Portlight Strategies, Inc.
4900 Lewis Road
Stone Mountain GA 30083
While Portlight WILL NOT be placing any staff in Haiti until we can assure their safety, rest assured that we will be staffing shelters in the near future. Anyone interested in going to Haiti to help staff one or more shelters for Haitians with disabilities please email us at email@example.com