What an awesome Monday! Finally, our 500 sheets of plywood, 4' x 8' x 5/8" to be exact, cleared customs and was delivered to a warehouse not far from where we're staying in Grace Bay. What a sight, the shipment took up an entire shipping container of its own.
One pallet, about 62 sheets, couldn't fit so remained at our shipping partners Island Bargains’ warehouse. This worked out great, as we had earmarked about that many sheets for some local folks we had identified as in need of roofing material. So within about an hour of us notifying them they started to arrive at Island Bargains to load up.
As that was happening, we met with a couple of very kind & knowledgeable people, Mark Franz from Mission of Hope and John Lawson from Island Bargains, over at the container to discuss the logistics of distributing the stock. They are very involved in charitable giving on the island, and have ‘feet on the street’ to know how to ensure goods support the right people and causes. And, as we’d quickly learned, navigating the politics of charity work is tough! Long story short, we want to make sure our goods don’t get caught up in making any particular political figure look good at the expense of really needy people and organizations.
So, first was the 2 pallets we earmarked for a small island called Salt Cay. Due to their size, they just don't get much representation, so we felt strongly about supporting them. And fortunately, a long time friend of ours, Travis and his co-worker Jose came over and offloaded the sheets from the container to a truck, which will deliver it to a barge to Salt Cay.
After discussing with Mark & John we decided the balance, about 300 sheets, will be used to help schools and churches rebuild. We couldn’t think of a better use.
Later this week, we’re going to meet with Mark, John and a couple others to decide on the next shipment, likely a combination of more plywood and peel & stick, an easy to apply waterproof roofing material that goes on top of plywood. Plus we’re planning to use a portion of the remaining funds to support an awesome program here called Back To Work, more on all that soon!
Thanks everyone who supported our GoFundMe page that allowed the donation of this plywood to help rebuild Turks & Caicos! As we mentioned, we upped the goal to $35,000 so please share with your friends!
Going to Salt Cay!