I just want to comment concerning the containers that were received these past weeks. We just want to note that we are VERY GRATEFUL for the container shipped from Crossroads Church in Red Deer, Alberta and all the major efforts that Keith Blaine put into coordinating that container. He spent a lot of time with many volunteers sorting through donations that came in to be sure they would be appropriate, but there always seem to be a few things that slip by. If anyone has read Rebecca's blog, she mentioned about some of the things that came on the containers that are not so useful for Haiti.Often times people donate items with well meaning intentions to help the poor, but there is the thought (and I have been guilt of it myself in the past) that our old junk may be useful to someone else. Sometimes when people donate items there may not be a full understanding of the kind of climate or culture they are going to. For example, Knitted baby blankets are great, as well as baby layettes, but heavy sweaters, knitted slippers and fleece pajamas just don't work in the hot, humid climate of the Caribbean.
There was one box that maybe got loaded in or donated to Haiti by accident, because it was all snow wear, complete gear for someone to go in the mountains.
The other container that was received was not originally destined to come to Haiti ARISE, but we agreed to receive it for another ministry. It was all stuff that had been shipped from a Shoppers Drugmart warehouse and the majority was good, useful items. But it seemed they were just clearing out their wearhouse, so there were many items that just don't help Haiti, for example skin bronzing cream- boxes of it, and dryer sheets. These things we were disheartened about, because they are not helpful for the people, the container costs a lot of money to ship and receive, and if the items cannot be used, then we have to figure out a way to dispose of them.
Our intentions are not to be negaitve at all in sharing these things, but to share the reality so that people think twice about what is donated, whether it be to Haiti, another 3rd world country, or even your local homeless shelter. Give your best to bless others. And the container from CROSSROADS really was a blessing. A big THANK YOU to all who gave good things- the beautiful furniture, lawn mower, garden and mechanical tools, medical supplies! A big THANK YOU to Red Deer College for the industrial kitchen equipment! And a big THANK YOU to Urban Thrift for all of the clothing that were very appropriate, well organized and clean. The people really have been blessed. The second container shipped with Shoppers Drugmart items, THANK YOU for all of the toiletry items, soap, shampoo, socks, lotions etc. These were all great items.