By David F. Rooney
Partners for Others, the small but mighty local group that aids the poor in developing countries around the world is shipping a 40-foot container of clothes, food, medical supplies and even sawmills and tons of nails to the South Pacific island nation f Fiji, which was devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston last week.
The powerful storm killed 42 people and left 50,000 homeless. Their plight touched Partners for Others founder Ray Brosseuk deeply. He has been working with Fijians for more than 20 years and has deep connections in the island community.
Friends in the Fijian capital of Suva and neighbouring towns and villages e-mailed him as soon as communications were restored in the wake of the cyclone last Wednesday. They needed all kinds of things: food, tenting, clothes and shoes, medical supplies, nails, a sawmill even a chainsaw. But Ray seems to be the kind of person who attracts synchronicities. In the week since he learned of the disaster on the other side of the planet he was offered almost everything Fijians were asking him for. A service club in Calgary that he hadn’t heard from in three years called and asked him if he needed eyeglasses. Boy did he ever. “I was even offered four sawmills — band saws — by a man in Oliver,” Ray said Tuesday as he looked over his preparations. “Everything turned up except the chainsaw.”
Here’s some of what else he was packing into that 40-foot shipping container:
- 2,000,000 cups of dehydrated soup mix;
- Hundreds of pieces of medical quioment donated by the Red Cross, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes;
- 800 boxes of medical supplies donated by Interior Health;
- 18 tons of construction nails donated by Tree Island Steel;
- Hundreds of pairs of new shoes from Second Chance;
- 24 tons of good used clothes, bedding, jackets and shoes from the Revelstoke Auxiliary Thrift Store; and
- 80 cases of toothpaste and thousands of toothbrushes, and other supplies donated by Fields Canada.
This particular container is being loaded on Wednesday evening and will leave for Fiji on Thursday but Ray and Partners for Others can always use help from generous people in our community. If you’d like to help out as a volunteer or make a donation (Partners for Others will issue a tax receipt) please contact Ray Brosseuk at 503-686-4808 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this amazingly energetic Revelstoke organization please click here to visit their website.