January 22, 2010
Salvation Army organizing flights

The local branch of the Salvation Army will be teaming up with regional airline LIAT to transport items donated by Vincentians to Haiti.{{more}}

This is according to Major Henry King.

King, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday at the Army’s headquarters on Melville Street, said that items received would be flown from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the Salvation Army’s headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago, then shipped through the Henderson Corporation to the French speaking Caribbean nation, which was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake last Tuesday.

King said that the Army has a well structured system in place in Haiti that can assist the sick and suffering there.

“By that I mean that the Salvation Army has 63 offices, 62 churches, 46 schools, 604 staff members and five social service centers.”

Although some of the buildings were damaged, King declared that none of the staff members were killed in the earthquake.

According to King, donations to the organization have been going very well.

“We not refusing clothing, but the clothing does not take precedence at this time,” King indicated.

“The clothing will be shipped at a later date, but what takes precedence is the food items: the corned beef, the sardines, the formula in particular.”

“As you know the formula is to assist the babies; it is very different from the normal milk. The milk they are getting that causes them to have diarrhea and so that will put back the babies in a worse situation.”

Apart from the donations of food and clothing, the Army is also accepting financial donations.

Accounts have been established at two financial institutions: RBTT account number 0102199412 And First Caribbean International Bank account number 2272265.

Cash donations will also be accepted at the headquarters.

Reading from a statement released by the Army’s Chief Secretary, King noted that an assessment team had travelled from Jamaica to Haiti last week, and had worked with the government there to gain clearance for relief flights to the airport in Port-au-Prince, among other things.

The statement also said that the Army is planning to send to Haiti several other skilled disaster response teams from across the United States and Canada.

In addition, the Salvation Army is working with corporate partners and vendors to send bulk quantities of pre packaged meals, bottled water, tents lanterns and other supplies, along with several 15,000 gallon water purification units and multiple mobile hospitals.

The Army, which has been in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the last 107 years, is appealing to all Vincentians to do their part to help alleviate the suffering being felt in Haiti.(JJ)