Old sails can help survivors in Haiti

Those tired old sails and old line currently cluttering up your attic or garage or shed can actually be put to good use in helping survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Carry or ship your old sails and lines to Shake a Leg Miami at the address below. Shake a Leg Miami is the Florida office of the Shake a Leg Foundation in Newport, R.I., which develops programs for sailors with disabilities.

From the press release: Haiti needs your used sails, especially large main sails. Even people who survived the quake and were healthy are now becoming sick from exposure to the elements. Tents, Rice, Cooking Oil, Beans, Pasta, Feminine Hygiene Products, Water Purfiers, Water Makers, Medical Supplies and more money to purchase these disaster relief supplies are the top items needed to help Haitian earthquake victims.

Haul your used sails and old lines out of lazarettes, lockers, attics, garages and closets and make a tax-deductible donation to Haiti-life.org, a non-profit, 501c3, organization.

A special IRS tax relief provision was enacted on January 22nd enabling taxpayers to itemize deductions on their 2009.  Only cash contributions made to these charities after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card.  (Click Here for IRS guidelines)

Please deliver your sails and neatly coiled line to:

Shake a Leg Miami at 2620 South Bayshore Drive
Miami, FL 33133-5424
(305) 858-5550 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Identify them for shipment to Haiti by writing “HAITI” on them.
Please call in advance with large donations.

If you are heading to Miami for a Snipe or a Melges regatta or the Miami Grand Prix, bring your old sails with you.

Follow the progress of Sea Flower, a privately chartered cargo ship, which will leave for Haiti with 15,000 pallets of supplies, including used sails, as soon as it is fully loaded with relief supplies. http://www.haiti-life.org/Haiti-Life/The_Project.html.   

The two gentlemen overseeing the loading of the Sea Flower had put a down a charter deposit before they even had a single pallet of relief effort goods to load onto it.  Since January 28th, the men have been receiving and loading shipments of supplies collected by other non-profit groups, that have been frustrated in their efforts to get goods to the island.

“We are bypassing the clogged arteries of Port Au Prince. And we are seeking support in the form of 1) monies to fund shipment, 2) materials for various organizations and 3) relationships with a variety of aid and non-profit entities needing support to continue work in the Haitian communities,” said Robert Dietrich who has family in Haiti and has been funding a Haitian school for years.

The M/V Sea Flower will set off from the Miami River with used sails from North Sails Fort Lauderdale loft, Second Wind Sails and Coconut Grove Sails and Canvas.  Said Carla Shieffer of Coconut Grove Sails and Canvas, “I have been thinking about getting rid of some sails for a while.  That’s a good use.  I’m happy to do that.”  For some of Mike Toppa’s clients at the North Sails loft in Fort Lauderdale, news was enough to make the decision to donate rather than hold onto them for another season.  

NGO’s, shipping and logistics and volunteers are doing everything in their power to coordinate the collection, shipping and delivery of desperately needed supplies.

Your support is appreciated.

By Ocean Navigator