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February 23, 2010

Haiti Forever – Missions 6 – Chapter 3 – The Finale

On the flight coming down were some very nice people from AirCastle, the large corporation who lease airplanes to Airline companies around the world. The plane we flew down on Tuesday was their contribution to the Haiti missions and they would like to do more.

One of the most important messages of the last 4 weeks is that “Business” have used their existing business model to make a difference. It wasn’t just about writing a cheque – although ultimately the financial implications are the same. It was more about using their core values and their particular resources to help. This is truly an important message for all of us.

Canadian Tire is an example of a company that worked within their model, by supplying tents and flashlights, perfect items that were needed.

Apotex, the pharmaceutical company was able to give us life saving medicine. This company is a beacon of their industry. They came forth at once with supplies that were needed. Other suppliers of necessary medicines were hospitals in Montreal and the Maritimes as well as Medimart.

Pepsi supplied water; The Bay supplied blankets and all the other incredible partners whose participation made these 6 flights possible.

As I have written Air Canada came forward initially with all of the flights. More important is the implication of the employees and the management of Air Canada whose 26,000 employees followed these missions on their web site. Every time a request went out they mobilized their network. These missions were a true team effort in every way possible.

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View more photos.

Back in Haiti for this sixth Mission, we bring Ron and his team from AirCastle to the clinic and we give them a history of what we have been through and the needs.

At the clinic it becomes apparent that food is running short and we are all concerned of what the future will bring.

As we unload Davinder and Ajmer introduce me to a young woman from Khalsa an organization that reached out to their communities around the world. Davinder and Ajmer have brought down the crutches (which they share with us) we have brought tents that we share with them. They have brought food and given us food. We fill a small truck for the Khalsa team. They have installed themselves in Lagoune (which they tell me was one of the hardest areas hit) and the help has just started getting there. She asks if we will help, we exchange email address and I promise to do whatever we can.

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View more photos.

PIH has arrived again with a complete group of staff and trucks and we all help including a couple of members of the Canadian forces. 35,000 kilos is unpacked and re packed in a matter of a couple of hours.

I suggest Jude builds a “how to “ manual. I know its morbid and I don’t ever want to think about the possibility of another disaster like this, but we have learned so much and we have achieved much. Would it be wrong to write it all down?

We are picking up approximately 100 passengers; the commercial flights will start again shortly but for now Air Canada’s doors are open to all who need a lift home to Canada.

The last two trips have come in a short time span and I am truly tired, everyone is tired. There are a handful of us who have made all 6 trips. Jude, Doug, Gilles and Myself. Carl and Julie and Duncan made 5. But when we think that Air Canada is in the middle of flying thousands across the country to Vancouver, it’s a testament to Air Canada’s CEO Calin Rovinescu and the COO Duncan Dee along the whole organization for having made this last mission.

We will be posting a list of everyone who participated on these flights on the ONEXONE web site, because they gave themselves wholeheartedly for their fellow man, their company and their country. Because it was the right thing to do.

When we land Wednesday at 3am we who are headed back to Montreal take a 630 flight home and I get home take a shower and go to the office.

It seems strange to have completed such a circle in such a short time.

I have said it so many times what this experience has meant to all of us. We are not finished not even close, we have huge opportunity to continue to do good work and already Khalsa has sent us a list of their needs. PIH is also in need of certain medication and we want to see how to get it there in the next short time.

I wish everyone could have had the opportunity to make one flight and take one box off the plane and transfer it to PIH or carry one child to their new parents or share the camaraderie of the group I was so honoured to travel with.

ONEXONE is made up of volunteers, board members who have given their time to support us in this effort, even though I had the privilege of making all the flights, we needed Frank McKenna and Edward Rogers to lead the charge. We needed Peter King and the team from Rogers who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. We needed our USA Foundation with Marc Joubert, Rob Broggi and Skylar James for all the funds they have raised. We needed James Dodds and Roger Rai to help put things together, Judith Irving and the Irving family to mobilize the Maritime Provinces. Dr. Gosevitz to make the connection to Apotex and guide us on many issues. Dale and the Pepsi team for the Water and the introduction to Canadian Tire with Duncan Fulton and his team. We needed Bruce Goodman to manage the Web, Geoff Dawe and Wendy Muller to edit my blog and correct my horrible spelling. We needed all the hospitals whose logo’s are on this site to donate so much. We needed the Bronfman Foundation to help facilitate the Nurses and Doctors we sent for one week to help. We needed Elisa to hold down the fort in Canada while she fed 2200 First Nations Children across the country with our ONEXONE Breakfast program. We needed Maria who keeps everything running perfectly at the Canadian Foundation. Particularly, we needed Jude who pushed the envelope and whose incredible personality and dedication are beyond words.

These missions could never have happened without the staff from AC who manned the flights: Gilles, Carl, Doug, James, Jay, Julie, Pricille, all the guys at Cargo.

Most of all we needed Partners in Health to look up to, their work and history in Haiti and around the world made it easy to gather everything we needed, Paul, Ali, Kathryn, Ted, Megan, Loune and everyone on the ground, what an unbelievable organization. As we write they are overseeing 13 hospital centers, and will continue to need our help.

We can not close this story as yesterday Monday Feb 22nd, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment along with Air Canada flew a 7th mission, I was not there, an ear infection after last week’s flight grounded me. Maria led the charge for ONEXONE. Jude along with Alain from AC Jets, AC and the great group at MLSE were on this mission.

Through all the support from the major corporations of which we appreciate, I am also especially proud of the stories from individuals who have raised money for ONEXONE and Haiti. From the employees of LG in Canada who raised individual donations, to the little girl Jillian, who had her birthday party and used it as a fundraiser for ONEXONE and to Alex Ikonikov who raised money by creating a marathon From Barrie- to Haiti for ONEXONE because as Alex says “ At the heart of ONEXONE is the belief that each person can make a difference and by joining together we can achieve great things”.

The eyes of the world have moved their focus, and Haiti is no longer the lead story. This was expected and truly the press for the most part did an amazing job keeping it at the forefront, allowing many of us to raise much money.

Haiti needs us more now than ever. We at ONEXONE, along with Air Canada and our partners aren’t finished. We have hopes and aspirations to continue our work and make a truly profound impact.

The world has opened its hearts and wallets at a level never seen. We all need to do what is right and make sure we maximize every cent donated. Especially the dollar donated by the child from the USA Midwest or the Prairies in Canada .We must not let that child grow up to learn that his or her dollar went to waste.

Everyone’s life is Precious and Everyone can make a difference in another person’s life – ONE BY ONE

“Together we can save the World”

Joey

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