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January 20, 2010

PAE, Nordhavn owners support Haitian rescue effort

It’s been one week since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti and, like the world over, the victims of the disaster have weighed heavily on the minds of everyone here at Nordhavn. Chatter on the Nordhavn owners site began almost immediately after word spread of the quake’s devastation. Several Nordhavns cruising the Carribbean discussed what, if any, assistance they could provide. There was talk of a Nordhavn flotilla traveling to Haiti to provide accommodations support for aid workers. But some Nordhavn owners who were also veterans of disaster aid care advised that straight money donations would have a far greater impact.

While the plan for Nordhavn yachts arriving in Haiti had been shelved, it was soon revealed that one Nordhavn owner was already leading the crusade in the name of the relief effort. Rick Heiniger, who is building 7617, has been working tirelessly organizing and assisting a care group he and his wife,
Debbie, have been involved with for years. Long before the quake hit,  Rick and Debbie had been established and experienced in the process of giving aid and support to Haitians in need. In fact, when we first got to know Rick and Debbie in 2008, we began hearing about their work in Haiti through the Global Orphan Project. http://theglobalorphanproject.org/

Prompted by the huge hearts of our Nordhavn owners, we at PAE felt challenged to also help. After much consideration, it was decided that the company would support the Global Orphan Project with a financial donation.  We know, trust, respect and admire these fine people and know that 100% of what we donate will make it to those in need. The company is making one contribution and has invited staff to make their own personal contributions which will be added to the initial sum.

Yesterday afternoon PAE’s president Dan Streech spoke with Rick Heiniger and was moved by his (and Debbie’s) commitment and passion.  Rick said that there are possibly thousands of newly orphaned children and that the need is incredibly urgent. The GO project has people on the ground in Haiti now and more on the way. 

Rick also mentioned that there is a need for physical help from those who can volunteer time. If you or someone you know can volunteer, please make contact through the GO web site. 

If you want to help but don’t know how, do what PAE is doing. Support the Global Orphan Project with a monetary donation.

-JMS