|Paul Demeo, John Mulqueen, and Bob Hurtubise|
Sunday November 11, 2011 a truck filled with construction items, medical supplies, and clothing will leave Gardner, Massachusetts for Miami, Florida. The 24 foot box truck will then depart on a cargo ship for Haiti. Word has spread that Paula and John Mulqueen are sending supplies to Haiti in a box truck. The truth is that John and Paula could never accomplish all that has been done to fill and ship the truck. It has taken a mix of people, most who have never been to Haiti, who have volunteered their time and donated money and supplies.
The story begins with Matt Robinson, brother of our board member Audrey Hunter and the president of Industrial Packaging Supply. Matt contacted Steve Robinson of Apple Truck and Trailer Sales of Auburn, Ma. Steve had a box truck for sale. After Steve went through the truck and fixed what needed fixing Matt Robinson, a long time generous supporter of FIH, bought the truck for FIH.
The truck was picked up by members of the Gardner Lions Club Steve Cormier and John Mulqueen Senior. They drove the truck from Auburn to Gardner where space to store the truck was provided by Bob Hurtubise, Gardner Lion and owner of 101 Storage.
It was now time to gather construction items needed to complete construction of the FIH medical clinic in Fonfrede, Haiti. Number 1 on the list was a cement mixer. Up to now cement has been mixed with a stick on the ground. Money for the cement mixer was donated by the Woonsocket, R.I. Rotary Club. FIH board member Sr. Theresita belongs to the Rotary and they were accepting applications for an international project.
The next big item we needed was a 4 wheeler for Hal Seifert who is overseeing construction in Haiti. If there is extended rain Hal cannot reach the clinic site on his motorcycle. Terri Langlois, a nurse at Heywood Hospital in Gardner who has traveled with FIH to Haiti, spoke with the people at Cycle Design in Athol, Ma. They had a used 4 wheeler and the money to purchase it was donated by FIH board members Audrey Hunter and Sandy Hartnett.
Donations continued to come in. Some were financial like donations from the Fitchburg and Westminster Lions Clubs after Gardner Lion Paul Demeo put the word out. Paul also obtained 7 new combination windows from J & R Glass and has provided invaluable knowledge time purchasing plumbing supplies.
14 new sinks were donated by Brian Gauther of Bub’s Plumbing in Gardner. The sinks are Caribbean colors. He has had them for years because no one liked the colors. We do!
Electrical supplies have been donated by Joe Favulli from Favulli Electric in Worcester, Raborne Electric, Bob Anderson, and John Ghones.
Members of the Gardner High Haiti Club have volunteered twice to help with loading items into the truck. FIH board members Paula Mulqueen and Gerry McGuire provided leadership loading the truck. Tools have been donated by long time supporters Scott Huntoon and John and Addy Shinnick.
Finally we needed to find a shipping company that goes to Haiti and a driver to get the truck to Miami. Annie Reynaud from Global Panel Solutions provided invaluable assistance finding a shipping company and how to get the truck quickly out of customs in Haiti. Bob Hurtubise found our driver; Templeton firefighter Doug Wheeler. Doug will drive the loaded truck to Miami for FIH.
Clearly this has turned into a community effort. This again proves that FIH is a group effort. The work of the many supporters of FIH should be proud of the many hands involved to help raise the health care of the people in Fonfrede.