The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Denton Program, expedited a humanitarian assistance shipment to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on April 6. The shipment is valued at approximately USD$14,256, and it will benefit families in unexpected need across the two islands for the next six to eight months.
"We have been trying to get this humanitarian assistance to St. Kitts for some time to help families who have suffered extreme personal challenges like losing everything to fire. Shipping costs were the prohibiting factor," said Mickey Weintraub, an American living and volunteering full time on both St. Kitts and Nevis through his Mickey's HOPE Foundation.
"Tammy Darby, Chairman of the Christophe Harbour Foundation, introduced me to the people at USAID's Denton Program in Washington, D.C. and to Chris Findlay at Source Consulting, a logistics company in Charleston, South Carolina. Source Consulting donated their logistics services, and USAID confirmed cargo space for us on a U.S. Air Force training flight."
Mr Weintraub added, "Stamp Out Starvation (SOS), a non-profit organization in Oklahoma that provides nutritious meals to people all over the world, was quick to donate the food, but the delivery never would have happened without Tammy Darby and Chris Findlay."
Christine Pirkle, an employee of luxury resort community Christophe Harbour located on the Southeast Peninsula of St. Kitts, was a volunteer on hand as the shipment arrived. "I am an unabashed American, and it was awe-inspiring to stand here in St. Kitts and Nevis, where I have met some of the families who have suffered profound and unexpected loss, and watch a C-17 military cargo plane touch down with U.S. AIR FORCE and the American flag emblazoned on the sides, and then watch the U.S. Air Force unload this food that will help people who are dealing with sudden and devastating misfortune in their lives."
"We send a huge thank you to SOS in Oklahoma for this $14,000 worth of nutritional food. These MREs, which represent about 70,000 servings, will be distributed judiciously here on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis by ATime4Us and Mickey's HOPE foundations in conjunction with the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Social Services."
Ms Pirkle continued, "We have a number of colleges, universities and graduate schools on St. Kitts with thousands of students and faculty from the United States, the Commonwealth, and many other beautiful places around the world. This, combined with the many Kittitians and Nevisians who help, makes this island nation especially rich in volunteer power. Now that SOS in Oklahoma has provided the food, Source Consulting in South Carolina has handled the U.S. logistics of the food, and the United States Air Force has delivered the food, volunteers on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis will take it from here."
Photo credit: Supplied by Christophe Harbour