Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti with 145 mph winds on Tuesday morning, causing major devastation to the country, and an Abilene non-profit is ready to send aid to the Haitian people.
Global Samaritan Resources, Abilene-based non-profit led by Danny Sims (’85), will send aid to one of its partner organizations with ACU connections, LiveBeyond. LiveBeyond, run by ACU alumni Dr. David (’82) and Laurie Vanderpool (’81), focuses on humanitarian and medical relief work in Thomazeau, Haiti.
As the hurricane approached the island, Sims and his Global Samaritan team formed a plan of how to send help to the Vanderpools once the hurricane struck. Global Samaritan will be sending financial aid, clean water straws, and later on fortified food to LiveBeyond.
“We have partnered with [LiveBeyond] before, and our help will be totally defined by their needs,” said Sims, executive director of Global Samaritan Resources. “We want to come along side and help however we can. We have the logistics to send supplies however they need it.”
According to United Nations official Mourad Wahba, the Hurricane Matthew is “the largest humanitarian event” to hit Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010.
While many around the country are facing heavy flooding and displacement from their homes, the Vanderpools haven’t seen as much damage as they initially anticipated.
In a video posted on the LiveBeyond Facebook page Wednesday morning, David Vanderpool shared an update with followers.
“We are happy to report we have had very little damage here in our area,” Vanderpool said in the video. “We have been going throughout our community and distributing food to the underserved and marginal people in our area and we are very thankful that we have not sustained a great deal of damage.”
Over the course of the week, Sims and Global Samaritan have been a connection point for people in Abilene looking for ways to help those in Haiti.
“With Haiti, there’s a concern about giving money, but its’ a good thing that people trust us,” Sims said. “Every dime will go to Haiti and we will have no overhead for this project.”
The Vanderpools visited campus earlier this semester when David spoke at Opening Assembly, and many students and ACU alumni have been involved with their work in Haiti.