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Container #14, September 16, 2014

Container #14, September 16, 2014

Container #13 September 9, 2014

Containers #13  and #14 on their way to Panama

 

 

 

 Container #13, loaded September 9, 2014

 

Contact Tom at

tlmccormack@hotmail.com
115 Reesman Drive
Aliquippa, PA  15001
724-495-6310
Panama cel  507-6760-3439
Tom McCormack began working in Chiriqui, the westernmost province of Panama, in 1994 through the United States Government Farmer to Farmer Program, using his expertise as a Master Beekeeper to assist Panamanian beekeepers in becoming more productive.  While working there, Tom saw the need in the less fortunate areas of western Panama for items
that are simply discarded in the United States.

Tom began collecting used children’s clothing and was able to send and distribute over 3000 pounds of clothing to  people in need in Chiriqui.  He then discovered that women who suffered from breast cancer did not have the resources to obtain breast prostheses or wigs.  With the help of volunteers and the tireless work of Roswitha Firth, U.S. donation coordinator, hundreds of prostheses and wigs were collected, hand carried, and distributed.  We extend a special thank you to Roswitha’s personal friend, Bärbel Mühlhausen, of Germany, who has made and donated over 600 cancer caps.

From there the project grew into the collection of wheelchairs, crutches, hospital beds, disposable medical supplies, bicycles, and basic household items. In order to facilitate the importing of the donations into Panama, the McCormack Foundation was formed.  In 2006 the foundation shipped a 40 foot cargo container of donated goods to Chiriqui and the surrounding areas.  In 2008, two more containers followed. The donations were unloaded with the help of U.S. Peace Corps workers and distributed by Tom. Two additional containers were shipped  in  October of 2009 and another in 2010. Container #7 was shipped on October 4, 2011. The eighth container arrived in Panama on December 17, 2011.  Tom receives and personally delivers all donated items to the appropriate recipients.  Containers 9, 10, and 11 were loaded and sent on October 10, 2012.  See picture gallery for some photos of the loading.   

Container #12 was loaded October 9, 2013.  Thirty five volunteers loaded the container.  A special thank you goes to the JROTC cadets of Ambridge High School for their invaluable assistance; these young people were essential to the loading.

Containers 13 was sent on September 9, 2014 (see NEWS tab for video of loading) followed by Container 14 on September 16, 2014.

Distribution coordinator Ruby Cianca oversees the distribution and is in charge of day to day operations.  Thank you to all of the volunteers in the United States and Panama working together for the collection and distribution of goods for the benefit of the neediest families in Panama.

 

A very special thank you to  Marco Gruelle, Export Manager of D.T. Gruelle Co. of Moon Township, PA, for donating time and expertise and sharing shipping expenses for transporting the containers to Panama.
A very sincere thank you goes to the volunteers in Pennsylvania who helped to collect, transport, pack, and load the donations and to the volunteers in Panama who helped unload, store, and distribute the items.  These hundreds of volunteers are the backbone of this project.
load2013
Ruby arriving with container #12.

Ruby arriving with container #12

Container #12 accompanied by Ruby reached David on November 2 and was promptly unloaded by a group of 43 volunteers into a new warehouse provided by the family of Elias Saldana Palma, who also is the hearing aid technician and is in charge of the wheelchair repair shop.

unloading2013

unloading2013wheelsunloading2013boxunloading2013bed

We want to sincerely thank Mayor  Francisco Vigil of David, Panama, for his very valuable assistance in facilitating the import of these humanitarian  materials into Panama.  The containers enter Panama tax free with the help of the mayor who also provides transportation to deliver the supplies throughout the province.

Updated September 22, 2014

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