Release Date: 23 May 2008
Release ID: 395
Heart to Heart International Inc. and FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will deliver the first private airlift of relief supplies to China following a massive earthquake in Sichuan Province. A FedEx MD-11 cargo plane carrying nearly 70 tons of humanitarian aid will depart Kansas City today at 2:20 p.m. (CDT). The cargo is valued at approximately $1.5 million (U.S. wholesale).
Thanks to FedEx and its donation of transportation and logistics services, Kansas City-based humanitarian organization, Heart to Heart will be able to help millions of people over the next several months throughout Sichuan Province, the area hit hard by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake on May 12. Heart to Heart has been working in this part of China for more than a decade, managing year-round health and emergency initiatives from its base of operations in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu. Because of the organization’s location and history in Sichuan, Heart to Heart was able to start helping survivors of the quake only hours after it struck near Chengdu.
“Shortly after the quake hit, our staff in Chengdu mobilized quickly and were onsite helping survivors of this terrible tragedy,” said Jon D. North, Heart to Heart’s CEO. “Today's airlift is going to make a significant impact on our efforts to reduce suffering and we're privileged to be working on this initiative with our partners at FedEx, who helped us start our humanitarian operations in China with a medical airlift to Chengdu in 1997.”
The load consists of requested antibiotics, pain relievers, children’s medications, IV solutions, first-aid supplies, diagnostic instruments, surgical items, orthopedic equipment, and such basic necessities as tarps, blankets and personal-hygiene kits.
“FedEx has found a way to proactively leverage our core competencies with Heart to Heart and take disaster relief to a new level. This relief mission is one example of our cooperation together, which started in 1995 and has grown into a longstanding relationship,” said Steve Cox, managing director of Global Program Management for FedEx. “Today, FedEx maintains Forward Response Centers in strategic locations globally for Heart to Heart which provides immediate relief when disasters strike anywhere in the world.”
A total of 44 FedEx employees have been involved in the coordination of the flight, which will take 22 hours from start to finish including ground time. The MD-11 departs Memphis at 9:47 a.m. CDT, lands in Kansas City at 12:20 p.m., and is scheduled to depart for China at 2:20 p.m., allowing the FedEx crew on the ground 45 minutes to an hour to load the plane with the relief supplies.
Heart to Heart and FedEx share a long-time commitment to preparedness and have worked together since 1995 to deliver humanitarian aid around the world. FedEx is committed to utilizing their network to support disaster preparedness and contingency planning to pre-stage materials before a disaster strikes. Working with FedEx, Heart to Heart has established an innovative Forward Response Center network to position relief supplies in strategic locations, so the supplies can be rapidly transported to people affected by a disaster.
FedEx has helped Heart to Heart transport humanitarian aid to almost every major region of the world. Additionally, FedEx organizes the collection, sorts inventory, and provides storage, clearance and transport of relief supplies to sites affected by earthquakes, hurricanes or other natural disasters.
Today’s airlift is supported by dozens of generous companies, including Abbott, BD, Cardinal Health, Hospira and Welch Allyn. Heart to Heart has received additional support for this shipment from its humanitarian partners at AmeriCares, Convoy of Hope and NCM.
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