Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Direct From Portlight.org:

Update on our efforts in Haiti
January 18, 2010

Late update:

The Reeve Foundation, founded by Christopher and Dana Reeve has awarded Portlight Strategies a $10,000 Quality of of Life grant to assist in our relief efforts in Haiti. This is very big and will allow us to pursue more aggressive relief efforts over the course of the next few weeks. Along with the continuing donations of money and materials from the general public and corporations here in the US this grant will help speed up our shipping agenda and help us to get more materials in place faster than we had anticipated. Time is of the essence in Haiti and we at Portlight are grateful to the Reeve Foundation for their generous contribution to our cause. The story can be found here .

Our second shipment should be on the ground in Haiti by early this week; again this shipment includes two more of the water treatment systems and more food and medical/clinical supplies. This is a larger shipment than the first; we're hoping to identify places with more dire needs and place one of the water treatment systems there as well as the other supplies.

On Site Coordinator:
Thanks to Wunderground blogger Dak Simonton (Dakster) we were made aware of Richard Lamarque, a Haitian expatriate and 15 year veteran of the Miami Police Department who was planning to go back to Haiti this week to look for family members and to help with recovery efforts. As our on scene coordinator, Richard Lamarque will be leaving for Haiti in a few days. He is well connected there, and has a skill set and life experiences which will be invaluable to our work there. He will be travelling by ship. We have commited to purchasing a small truck to take with him. The truck will be loaded with supplies. The benefits of having a vehicle on site are self evident. The truck will cost roughly 3-5 thousand dollars; we have already earmarked $2000.00 for this; the next $3000 we receive will be earmarked for the WU truck. Please post this announcment to blogs and forward it to all your WU friends.

We want this to 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 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.

Dire situation:
We were also made aware of the situation with the BRESMA orphanage over the weekend. The orphanage is run by two sisters, Jamie McMutrie Heckman and Ali McMutrie. The Orphanage has been without electricity since the earthquake and ran out of food and water over the weekend. Emergency supplies have been brought in by World Vision, but only in smaller amounts, requiring frequent resupply visits. To make them more self sufficient until evacuation can be arranged for the children, we have identified a water source for the a treatment system and we are currently arranging to get it and more food in place for the children by early in the week.

Methodist Habitat:
Also over the weekend we were put in touch with Methodist Habitat by Wunderground blogger Jeff Sandler (BrowardJeff). This organization provides aircraft and pilots in disaster situations for the shipment of goods and supplies; we have provided them with some funding to help defray the cost of fuel and we are happy to help them. Like Portlight, they are accepting donations and are looking for experienced pilots and aircraft to further aid in the recovery efforts; their website is
Methodist Habitat .

Tangible donations:
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, other tangibles like botteld water, tools, outdoor gear etc. The address for the Atlanta warehouse is:

Portlight Strategies, Inc.

4900 Lewis Road

Stone Mountain GA 30083

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