Monthly Archives: February 2009

Last of 5 Containers Loaded& Heading for Belarus

It has been a very busy time over the last week and a half!  Starting with the weekend of Feb 14 and 15 when we received many packages from families wishing to send things to families that they sponsor or know through our various programs … families helping families!  In this picture a group from Quebec is delivering a large van-load of parcels.  All of course needing labeling in English and Russian.

Even before the containers arrived there was a lot of sorting, organizing and re-packaging to be done in order to organize the containers by destination and ensure that the right product gets on the right container.  Here, Neil Matheson, Randy Colpitts and Ed Grady prepare some furniture to make the trip.

Every box has to be inventoried prior to be loaded as exact inventory counts are critical to getting everything through Customs in a timely manner.  Here, Randy Colpitts takes a pallet load into the container to be unloaded and stacked by hand.

This picture shows 3 of our 4 fire fighters loading the fire fighting equipment that will be delivered, along with the firetrucks, to the Mogilev Fire Department.  From left, Tim Lidlow, Ken Sine and Paul Asmis.  The 4th (missing from this picture) is Jeff Snider.

We have described packing the container as a bit like playing “Tetris” on the horizontal!  The packages come in on a pallet and we have to try to fill every little hole and gap while making sure that nothing is being crushed or damaged.  We have had many volunteers over the past week and a half, this picture shows Ryan Abrams, Fred Wells, Dan McKenzie and Pat Yuille.

The 5 containers are loaded and on their way to the Port of Montreal, we will see them next on the ground in Belarus in just over a month.  Stay tuned for our (hopefully) daily updates during the delivery!

Eric McKenzie

Brockville to Belarus – a Community Comes Together!

The Brockville and area community never ceases to amaze me.  It seems that whenever we have specific needs this community comes through.  This has been very evident this week.  With 3 firetrucks mechanically ready to go but a lot of cleaning and polishing left to do, the St. Lawrence College Pre-Service Fire Fighter School brought over their students who spent two days completing a job that would have taken our 4 Firefighter volunteers a couple of weeks to complete and certainly not in time for the shipment.  These students worked really hard and left these rigs shining!  Many thanks to Captain Gary Rutley, program coordinator at St Lawrence College for volunteering his students and of course to the students themselves who did a fantastic job!  Here are a couple of pictures of them hard at work:

Here they all are posing for picture on the ladder truck:

The trucks are ready to go but we are still looking for another $20,000 to pay for the shipping!

Last night saw a lot of volunteers helping with the food box packing.  We had Rotary Club members from both Brockville and Prescott as well as Air Cadets from the 870 Vampire Squadron, local students and of course CAC members helping to set a new record.  We packed over 600 food boxes in just over 2 hours!  These boxes contain flour, sugar, rice, pasta, canned meat, coffee, tea, peanut butter, jam and several other basic staples that will make a huge difference in many family and seniors lives.  Especially at this time of year when preserves are running low.  We still have many boxes left available for sale at $50/box including hand delivery.  Here are some of our hard working volunteers on the assembly line:

We have volunteers of all ages including this 5 year old who worked very hard clearing empty boxes from the assembly line:

We had a visit from both CKWS TV from Kingston and CBC today.  They had both caught wind of the terrific work our fire fighters were doing and wanted to get the story.  Here Chris Harvey of CKWS sets up the shot in preparation for interviewing Ken Sine our lead fire fighter on this initiative:

Click here to watch the news report.

This has been a big week with a lot more action to come.  We will be accepting family parcels this weekend and will start loading the containers next week, so stay tuned.

Eric McKenzie

Quilts, Quilts and more Quilts!

I had the pleasure today of being presented with 150 handmade quilts for the children in various orphanages.  These quilts are each handmade, individual works of art. This group of quilters meets every Monday afternoon at the Brockville Public Libraray to plan and create them.  This batch will bring the total delivered over the past few years to over 750!  An unbelievable feat by any standards.  They are led in this endeavour by Mary Bernard, seen in the picture below holding one of the quilts:

They have added a small pocket to each quilt this year which contains a small hand knit doll.

Here is a group of the quilters who were in attendance today for the presentation:

The quilts are of every colour and pattern imaginable:

These quilts are handed out to children in the orphanages that we work in.  Since the children are in orphanages they have very few personal items, and this is a gift that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.  Here is a picture of 4 girls from the Chausy Orphanage having just received their new quilts:

Each quilt has a small tag sewn on the back, written in Russian explaining that the quilt was made “especially for you”!  A gift to last a lifetime!

Eric McKenzie