|Category:||Caring for Communities, Global Impact|
|Tags:||earthquake, employees, Global Humanitarian Relief, Haiti, UPSers, World Food Programme, Worldport|
The effects of the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010 continue to affect the small island nation and its people. Immediately following the quake, UPS committed $1 million in cash and in-kind shipping to three humanitarian relief organizations: CARE, the Red Cross, and UNICEF to support the victims of Haiti’s earthquake.
UPSers also stepped up to support the Haitian people. Several have been activated as part of the World Food Programme’s Logistics Emergency Team and other have helped through their communities. One such UPSer is Jerry Rutherford, an employee at UPS Worldport.
At UPS, Rutherford, a 14-year UPS employee, is responsible for helping load and unload the bellies of UPS aircraft, making sure that each load is safely handled and properly loaded. He has even been known to help with marshalling responsibilities when called upon, helping to make sure that the plane is parked and departed without incident.
“Out on the ramp, we make sure that everything is handled properly according to our training and, ultimately, we make sure that our employees and equipment are safe,” he said.
Rutherford said he goes where he is needed both on the ramp and in the world. When he is not working, he spends a lot of his time volunteering with his church, which helped lead him to his biggest volunteer effort to date, a trip to Haiti.
“My church was really involved with the relief efforts and I wanted to do whatever I could to help. We planned a mission trip to a place outside of Port Au Prince — a place so small, it’s not even on a map.”
When the mission group arrived in Haiti, they were overwhelmed by the number of orphans left in the aftermath of the earthquake. The group decided to build an orphanage. After raising more than $30,000, Rutherford and his mission group returned to Haiti in February to break ground on the new orphanage.
“I have a background in construction. I’ve poured concrete and I’ve done some electrical work, but this was a real challenge for us. But we have made the best of the situation by working together and focusing on the children that we are trying to help,” he said.
Rutherford’s group is headed back to Haiti to continue building and he is planning a trip later this month to help complete construction. “UPS has been very supportive and flexible with my volunteer efforts. The company has worked around my schedule and seems to really understand what I am doing and the desperate need for help in Haiti,” he said.