The Diocese of Virginia has been asked by Episcopal Relief and Development to supply ten small pickup trucks to aid in the distribution of relief supplies. The Diocese did a similar thing after Hurricane Katrina. Katie Mears, co-coordinator of Haiti disaster relief for ERD, contacted the Diocese of Virginia to ask for a repeat performance of that truck campaign, this time for Haiti.
Buck Blanchard, Director of Mission & Outreach for the Diocese said in an e-mail:
ERD explained that it currently has a system that is working well to bring supplies, water, food and medicine from the Dominican Republic to the Diocese of Haiti's Port-au-Prince central relief area. But many of the earthquake victims have settled in church communities in hilltop villages outside of Port-au-Price and Leogane. ERD needs additional trucks to ferry supplies to these remote areas. ERD asked that the trucks be "small and fierce" to handle the rough road conditions...
Normally the plan would be to buy trucks in the Dominican Republic and drive them to Haiti, but the laws of supply and demand have driven the costs of the vehicles out of sight. It is cheaper to buy them in the United States and ship them over.
The goal is to raise $175,000 for the 10 trucks, especially because ERD and Haiti have asked that the trucks be "almost new." We have already received over $85,000 in donations toward that goal. The Diocese of Virginia will coordinate the fundraising and transportation logistics. Initially, the trucks will be titled and insured by the Diocese of Virginia. ERD will take over in Miami, and ultimately ownership will transfer to the Diocese of Haiti for its long-term use.
We recognize that many churches and individuals have already made generous contributions. Thank you so much for that support. We hope that this truck campaign will be another avenue for all of us to come together and provide additional relief.
Please send contributions payable to the Diocese of Virginia with "Haiti Truck Relief" in the memo line (110 West Franklin Street, Richmond VA 23220). The Diocese also is continuing to collect funds for ERD generally and to assist the Diocese's missionary, Lauren Stanley, when she is able to return to Haiti. .