Shipping company makes a costly mistake in Haiti

By September 13, 2011

Haiti (MNN) — The For Haiti with Love feeding program was
shut down because of a glitch with a shipping company.

For Haiti's Eva DeHart says most of the time when food gets
stuck on the docks, it's a government issue. This time, "This turned out to be a shipper who picked up the
containers, shipped them in two different directions: Port-au-Prince and Cap
Haitien. The paperwork was all messed up
and then the shipper just dropped out of sight."

Meanwhile, as the ministry struggled to put the paperwork in
order, they were accruing $60/day fees for storage. Right now, they owe over $13,000 in fees for
the food. A lost cause? No way, says DeHart. "It's $130,000
worth of food in two containers that we're assured is still good. So it's
definitely worth fighting for."

More importantly, the food shipments were donations from
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). For
Haiti wanted to preserve their relationship in order to keep the food coming. The frustration came when the shipping company
refused any communication, which had devastating effects on the outreach. "It
stopped our food program. That's 43,000 pounds of food every other month. Having
February's and April's [donations] tied up, and not having access to them, we
had to wait for the June donation, which finally got in and cleared in

DeHart had hoped the Haitian authorities would waive the
fees. However, FMSC is going to advance the money to
clear the shipments, and For Haiti will have to raise funds to reimburse
them. How did For Haiti get tangled up with this
shipping company? Sea Rose, International LLC had
been used by FMSC partners in years past with no trouble. Because of the way this was handled and in keeping
with accountability with donors, FMSC can't recommend the company to its partners any longer.

Although they've found a temporary solution, that doesn't
make up for the lost time and money trying to clear up what appears to be a
shipper's mistake. DeHart says the heaviest
blow is yet to be felt. "We're waiting now to see just how many
of those people come back. It's my fear that we probably lost quite a few of the
elderly people who were totally relying on us."

Even as For Haiti struggled through the red tape and money
woes, there was evidence of how their team has been Christ to the people they
help. "Usually, if you would stop
something like that in Haiti, you would have riots because they would be so
angry with you when they got so hungry, that they would turn on you,"
explains DeHart. The heart transformation was revealed when "they prayed with us this time. There was
a deeper level of understanding than I really expected, and that has to be an
answer to prayer."

The additional $13,000 in fees surpasses anything they had
budgeted for shipping. For Haiti with Love is in desperate
need of help. Click here if you can help.


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