Thursday, January 28, 2010

HOPE Volunteers Arrive in Haiti

Flexibility and a willingness to do without is all part of a humanitarian assistance mission. Just one day into their three-week rotation in Haiti, Project HOPE volunteers are already showing their tenacity and willingness to do what it takes to help the people of Haiti.

HOPE volunteers left Jacksonville, Florida for Haiti yesterday to begin caring for injured Haitians onboard the USNS Comfort. Plans for an aircraft carrier landing and then transport to the Comfort were changed and instead volunteers flew into Port-au-Prince Airport by way of Guantanamo Bay.

Rushing to beat nightfall, 16 of the volunteers were flown by helicopter to the Comfort now located two miles off the coast of Haiti. But night prevailed, and due to the safety precautions of night helicopter landings, not all the volunteers made it aboard the Comfort last night.

The remainder spent the night in Port-au-Prince, sleeping in tents on cots with a just a ready- to-eat meal (MRE) and water. Still, their sparse accommodations and MREs were more than many Haitians have at his point. Project HOPE staff member Matt Peterson reported all the volunteers in Port-au-Prince were in good spirits and up at 6:00 a.m. this morning ready to embark the Comfort and get to work.

WATCH this great news clip featuring HOPE volunters leaving Jacksonville for Haiti.

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