Albany organization sets focus on Haiti relief - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany organization sets focus on Haiti relief

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – South Georgians continue to show their support for earthquake survivors in Haiti. One Albany organization is working to deliver needed supplies to Haiti and evacuate people safely back to the United States. They need your help.

Haiti remains on the hearts of millions of Americans. The disastrous earthquake has both torn people apart and pulled them together. "I can't tell you how much we miss everybody but it's been an amazing thing and we feel God has called us here," said Ladonna Urick.

We used social networking site Skype to catch up with Todd and Ladonna Urick Tuesday night. The couple has been in the Bahamas for the past five months doing mission work. "God works in so many ways. We get to meet so many people coming through here to serve," said Ladonna.

But the earthquake has now changed their focus. "Our organization here in the Bahamas started getting phone calls from pilots in the states to see how they could help," said Todd Urick.

Since Sunday the Uricks have been working with Bahamas Methodist Habitat to coordinate up to eight flights a day from Nassau into Haiti. Several pilots from Alabama to Iowa flew in to help.

"As of today, they've made a total of 50 trips into Haiti and so far they've dropped off over 60,000 pounds of supplies and have rescued 35 evacuees," said Todd.

Here at home, Mission Change Project Coordinator David Blackwell is distributing cans all over the city for people to donate everything from food to over the counter first-aid items.

"Rice, beans, spaghetti," said Blackwell, "band-aids, gauzes, tapes, Neosporin, antiseptic sprays."

The collected items will be flown from Albany to the Bahamas next week and then into Haiti. "It's extremely satisfying to us. Mission Change's motto is "Change the World From Your Backyard." I never dreamed that we'd have this opportunity as citizens of Albany to effect that change from Albany, Georgia into Haiti," said Blackwell.

The organization hopes people will help them effect that change. "It's a tremendous opportunity for the citizens of Albany to offer hope through a bag of rice to those who desperately need it on the ground in Haiti," said Blackwell.

"It's been rocking our world ever since we got here," said Ladonna.

The Uricks plan to continue to help out as much as they can, as long as they can. "There's no telling how long we'll be here. As long as we're called and serving a need down here," said Todd. It's a need that seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

You can donate items at Flint Community Bank, Albany Harley-Davidson, SB&T Bank, Good Two Shoes, Albany Uniforms and Byne Memorial Baptist Church.

Food items being collected include beans, rice, spaghetti, and tomato paste. Mission Change also needs more pilots and money for fuel. It costs thousands of dollars to make those daily trips.

You can call 229-886-1257 to help or find out more information.

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