More volcano relief supplies reach Saint Vincent

written by Rachel Stanley & Julie Knox

A shipping container full of relief supplies for people who are still homeless after volcanic eruptions has arrived on the island of Saint Vincent.

The aid was sent from OM Ships International’s ministry centre in South Carolina, USA; where volunteers who normally supply Logos Hope with literature put together a special shipment to meet practical needs, help clean-up efforts and boost children's spirits after Mount Soufrière erupted in April.

This is the third large donation the ship’s crew has been involved with. While the volcano was erupting, the vessel made a brief call in Kingstown and pumped off thousands of gallons of drinking water, supplied water filtration systems, clothing and other essentials. Then, upon her return to the island after annual maintenance, Logos Hope carried pallet-loads of food and aid collected from people in Curaçao who were moved to send what they could to their fellow Caribbean islanders.

The 40-foot-long container that has now arrived from Florence, South Carolina contains 1,000 more water filters; 2,700 packs of hygiene supplies; tools; chicken coops; food; plus Bibles for adults and children. There are also art and craft supplies for schools, sports equipment and a large playground set to be built in the community of Mesopotamia, east of the capital city.

“We are grateful for partnerships with ministries like Kids Around the World, who donated the playground, and Christian Aid for sending much-needed hygiene items and 1,000 bundles of baby care necessities,” says Joe Parker, who manages support services at the USA base. Joe also sourced and sent supplies for Logos Hope’s crewmembers; including gloves, tools, UV-protection and dust-masks for those clearing volcanic ash.

Packing the relief items posed some logistical challenges for the loading team at OM Ships, who send consignments of Christian and educational books not only to Logos Hope, but for distribution around the world. Still, Florence Warehouse Manager Ross Goodknight says, “Loading the container was something we were glad to be part of, because it was full of practical aid to help the people of Saint Vincent in a time of need.”

The container weighed over 28,000 pounds (more than 12.5 metric tons). Now that it has reached the island, Logos Hope’s crew will help distribute the contents under the direction of shore-based partners and local agencies coordinating restoration efforts.