Saturday, August 28, 2010

Farmers in Northern Haiti Staying Busy with TractorShare

Our farmers in the community of Gros Morne are staying extremely busy, working with the Belarus  TractorShare #1 tractor and implements, that have now been deployed for over one year!  Crop yield is improving just in time to meet the incredible demands caused by the untold thousands of displaced people that have moved out of the capital after the earthquake.  Food production and distribution continue to be so important during the recovery effort.  This picture says it all...this is why TractorShare exists...please help.

Port au-Prince Update

Our recovery work in Port au Prince continues.  Our team of Haitian firefighters have been working every day, keeping the TractorShare #2 industrial tractor at work.  There's so much to do.  We have a dedicated team of workers, including our own maintenance personnel...and your help is very much appreciated.

Here are recent photos in Carrefour, working in the streets, clearing away debris, trying to make the road passable for vehicles and people.  This is what we're doing, every day.

Prepping a New Tractor for a New Project!

We're very excited to be preparing a totally re-built 1943 Farmall H tractor for our new project in the Yucatan Peninsula.  We are VERY grateful to Wes, who did all of the re-work, including a brand new engine, and donating it to TractorShare!  We think that she is beautiful!  We plan on shipping during September, and are now getting ready to purchase implements and put the package together.  Thanks Wes!  Find out how you can donate a tractor or farm implements and receive a charitable tax deduction!

Here's a pic of Chairman of the Board Kim and President/CEO Ron after adding a fresh coat of red Farmall paint...she looks great!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If You Live in Port-au-Prince...

If you live in Port-au-Prince today:
  • You probably live in a tent - if your home is still standing, you don't feel safe living in it
  • You probably have no job, no means of income or support for your family
  • You are living one day at a time, not thinking beyond making it through today
  • You are carrying your important personal papers with you everywhere...because they are not safe in your tent
  • You didn't get enough to eat today
  • Your spirit is not broken, but you could use some help
  • You want to work...nothing would make you happier than providing for your family
  • Your life changed forever because of the earthquake
  • You are at risk every night of being robbed or assaulted, with crime getting out of control

Port-au-Prince Visit by Kim Complete

Kim, our Chairman, spent the past week in Port-au-Prince with our great team of Haitian firefighters.  We officially turned over the Ford 4500 tractor to them, transitioned it from port operations to recovery missions in the city of Carrefour, conducted training, maintenance, and completed a needs assessment.  We're just getting started in recovery, but have never felt stronger about our mission and need to support the people of Haiti in their time of need.

We still need your support, please don't forget the people of Haiti!

Monday, March 22, 2010

TractorShare Deploys Haitian Assessment Teams

We have two ongoing assessments in Haiti this week.  Ben is in Limbe, observing our agricultural activities.  We're supporting subsistence farmers, organized into cooperatives, with the assistance of the Belarus tractor during the planting season, which will be essential to increasing their crop yield.  Food shortages continue to be reported throughout the country, and we remain focused on increasing the yield of Haitian farmers as the best way to alleviate the shortage.

Meanwhile, Kim is conducting an assessment of earthquake recovery operations in Port-au-Prince.  She'll be meeting with Haitian and US officials, observing the operations of the recently-deployed industrial tractor, and conducting a needs assessment so that we can plan our next steps.

We'll be posting pics next week of our teams and activities!

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Tractor Arrives in Port au Prince!

Our Ford 4500 industrial tractor just offloaded at the port of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from the Motor Vessel Crimson Clover this afternoon!  Our Haitian firefighters will spend two days on orientation and safety training, then get right to work on Monday clearing a school from debris, so that students can return to the classroom!

Thanks so much to the efforts of our friends at U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assessment (OFDA) for their help in getting the tractor in-country!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Industrial Tractor for Haiti Recovery Operations!

What a great day!  We just bought a Ford 4500 industrial backhoe/loader!  We're now coordinating with United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to coordinate onward movement to Port-au-Prince, where Haitian firefighters will immediately put her to work on recovery operations.  We anticipate that she will be working in the immediate vicinity of Port-au-Prince for several months.  This is a very versatile piece of heavy equipment, and there are VERY few items like this in the entire country of Haiti!  She has a brand new engine, just out of the crate, and that means her service life should be measured in decades...and why do I refer to this tractor in a feminine context?  She's beautiful, that's why...don't you think?
Thanks to our supporters for helping us in this important mission!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Haiti Update - We're Shopping for a Tractor!

Thanks to Ben, our VP of Operations, for sending supplies into Port-au-Prince today, including fire rescue equipment donated by Montgomery County, Maryland, Fire & Rescue Service.  Great job of coordinating, Ben!  Also, a big thank you to the professionals at United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, the U.S. Air Force aircrews working out of Charleston AFB, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID (OFDA), and the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Port-au-Prince.

Recovery operations continue throughout Haiti, but there are numerous challenges.  Now, heavy rains are hitting large parts of the country.  With tens of thousands still lacking adequate shelter, this is a problem...rain also compounds the challenge of getting supplies to the people that need it the most, due to degraded/destroyed roads.

Our firefighters in Limbe continue to surge our agricultural operations, using the tractor to increase crop yields in support of the displaced persons.  Food will continue to be a great challenge, so the more that the Haitian farmers can produce, the less that will need to be shipped in...please help in this effort!

Lastly, we're shopping right now for a heavy equipment tractor to ship into Port-au-Prince!  Excuse us for getting excited, but knowing that, in a short period of time, a piece of equipment will be shipped into country and placed in the hands of Haitian firefighters so that they can move ahead on recovery operations gets us really motivated!  We know that one piece of gear won't solve all of the daunting problems facing Haiti...but it's a start...and we'll send more as soon as you go back to the website and punch on the DONATE NOW button!  Come on, you can do it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

TractorShare Haiti Operations Manager - Big News

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 17, 2010) Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Search and Rescue Team clear debris at a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince. Part-au-Prince was hit by a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released) [100117-N-6070S 007]

Ardouin Zepherin, TractorShare's Haiti Operations Manager, has been very busy since the earthquake.  He finally got through via phone yesterday to our VP of Operations, stating that he was actually in the Parliament Building meeting with the Minister of Interior when the earthquake struck.  While the building was totally destroyed, both made it out safely with not a moment to lose.

Ardouin immediately commenced rescue operations.  He coordinated his efforts with the Fairfax County, Virginia Urban Search and Rescue Teams.  As Chief of the Limbe Fire Service, Ardouin already had a strong working relationship with several of the first responders.

Just last week, the Haitian Government appointed Ardouin as in charge of all national rescue and recovery operations, a major responsibility in this time of crisis.  He will continue to support TractorShare as Director of Haiti Operations, and we couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments in this time of crisis. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jammin for Haiti!!!

Wow, thanks to Dave Johnson, the Dish Bistro Lounge, and every else that has been organizing this great event!  If you live in the Maryland, DC, Virginia corridor, please come to the Dish Bistro on February 6 for a great time that will benefit the Haitian people! 

Friday, January 22, 2010

When the News Crews Leave Haiti...

...we'll still be there.

When the international aid workers go home...we'll still be there.

When the USNS Comfort returns to Baltimore Harbor...we'll still be there.

When the coverage of the Winter Olympics is the story...we'll still be there.

We were dedicated to supporting the Haitian people before the earthquake...and our resolve has never been stronger.  We appreciate the response of the international community.  Thousands have been saved as a result of the swift action.

The recovery, however, will take a concerted effort over months and even years...

Our approach is focused on providing Haitian people the tools they need to rebuild their lives...and I hope that you will join us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update on Ardouin and Rescue Operations

Ardouin remains focused on conducting rescue operations.  Brazilian news sources credited him with being the one that found a victim, still alive, discovered and rescued on Sunday, 6 1/2 days after the quake!  Ardouin is now a principal player in coordinating Haiti's ongoing rescue and recovery operations.

Late Wednesday evening, I did receive an email from him.  In short, he noted that he is fine, but there is "great demand" for a tractor with loader and backhoe, in order to clear roads and remove debris.

I assured Ardouin that we are doing all that we can to get heavy equipment flowing. This is our highest priority!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

He's Safe and Conducting Rescue Operations!

Thanks to the many people that have asked about our Operations Manager, Ardouin.  We received word today via French news services that Ardouin is safe and leading rescue operations in Port au Prince!  Ardouin has conducted extensive advanced training with professionals from Montgomery County, Maryland Fire & Rescue Service, as well as with Fairfax County, Virginia Fire & Rescue Service.  Ardouin now has his team of firefighters working with the deployed Fairfax County rescue personnel.  They have been focusing their rescue efforts on the University of Port-au-Prince, Hotel Montana, and the MINUSTAH United Nations headquarters.

We are relieved to receive assurance that Ardouin is safe, and we are going to help the recovery efforts in any way that we can.  Our focus is long-term.  We were in Haiti conducting operations prior to the earthquake, and our strategic emphasis remains on Haiti from rescue, to recovery.  We understand that there are several months of hard work ahead...and we are up to the challenge!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Considering a Donation

How can you decide which organization to support in this time of crisis?

1. Reputation and experience. TractorShare is managed by senior personnel that have been actively engaged in Haiti for decades. We know the issues, the key players, and we know how to get things done.

2. No fly-by-night operations. TractorShare is a licensed nonprofit, a 501(c)(3) organization with legal rights and protections in both the U.S. and Haiti. See our website where you can find our mission statement!

3. I want to ensure that my donation goes directly to Haitian Relief. TractorShare staff are all volunteers, accepting no payment or gratuities for their efforts. Our board pays all administrative and overhead costs, ensuring that your donation goes directly to supporting our operations on the ground.

4. Aren't there several other organizations already doing what you do? TractorShare focuses on a unique need, tractors, heavy equipment, and technical support. We empower Haitian communities, including the Fire Service, to use the equipment and respond to this crisis. After recovery, your donation will benefit Haitian people for decades, as our assets remain in place.

Please consider a donation today!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Emergency Support for Haiti

We have all seen the devastating scenes from Haiti of collapsed buildings and desperate people without food, water, or medical attention. So much needs to be done, both immediately and over the next few weeks and months to relieve the suffering and rebuild Port au Prince.

Right now, our focus is to bring in more tractors with front end loaders that can clear dangerous debris. This is what TractorShare does best.

We can get heavy machinery to Haiti and into the hands of people who have proven themselves. The crisis is far from over. The situation is urgent and help is needed now. We welcome your donations in cash or tractors and other heavy equipment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Disaster Response

TractorShare is responding to the Haitian earthquake with an effort to provide heavy equipment in support of rescue and recovery operations. This equipment, principally tractors with loaders, lift, and haul capabilities, will be provided to Haitian rescue teams for clearing roads, removing large sections of debris, providing emergency power, and assisting with the return of essential services. We believe that recovery will take several months, and we will be there for the Haitian people. Post-recovery, TractorShare assets will remain in-country and be re-deployed for use by rural communties, supporting agricultural production and other activities.

Please consider an immediate donation to TractorShare!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We're Plowing Fields in Haiti!

With the start of the New Year, we are busy supporting plowing operations in northern Haiti, in the village of Gros Morne. Our Director of Haitian Operations, Ardouin, tells us that Gros Morne has a large body of farmers, with five collective organizations, including the Citizens from Granplen. There are more than 3,000 members, principally farmers, and they are very excited to have TractorShare support!

We're currently plowing collective fields of subsistence farmers. Their primary crops are beans, corn, cabbage, and millet, and having access to TractorShare assets will significantly increase their yield. The need is great, and Ardouin says that he plans on working through the weekend to keep up with demand.

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