Three shipments sent to Haiti during January

Due to great support from United Methodist congregations, as well as other community members and institutions, Children of Abraham of Munster, Ind. has sent three 40-foot high-volume shipboard containers of medical aide to Haiti and has three more scheduled for delivery.

One of the containers was sponsored by Clay United Methodist Church of South Bend and is scheduled to arrive on Feb. 12. Others have been sponsored by an Indiana-based charity named Friends of the Orphans.

Children of Abraham is a volunteer, nonprofit interfaith organization based in Munster, Ind. a south suburb of Chicago. The organization was founded by United Methodists and the Northwest Indiana Islamic Center after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

The containers are being transported by rail from Munster to a port in Miami, Fla. From there, the shipments head to the Dominican Republic and then will be trucked to Saint Damien Pediatric Hospital in Tabarre, Haiti’s only free pediatric hospital, located near the U.S. Embassy.

”People with very serious conditions are still streaming in,” Gena Heraty of Saint Damien recently wrote. “Our 120-bed pediatric hospital has moved all of the patients outside into the driveway and courtyard areas … due to the numerous aftershocks. We are working on obtaining tents from the United Nations to try and make the children and parents more comfortable.”

Children of Abraham is a 100 percent volunteer-driven organization with the principal mission of helping relieve suffering around the world by providing free medical supplies and equipment to areas in need. The organization is an Indiana Conference United Methodist Advanced Special sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Hammond. Since 2004, Children of Abraham has shipped more than $40 million worth of medical supplies to people in 29 regions around the world.

“More than 100 volunteers helped with the Haiti shipments, estimated to be worth $1 million each,” said Champ Merrick, executive director of Children of Abraham. “These shipments have been the fastest we’ve sent out and our volunteers and donors have been imperative in making it happen.”

The three containers include orthopedic and surgical supplies, hospital beds and mattresses, emergency kits, water and nonperishable food items.

The Rev. David Schrader, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in South Bend, vice-president of the Children of Abraham’s board of directors and one of its founding members, said, “Children of Abraham needs additional crutches, walkers, wheel chairs and basic medical supplies. Considering the number of amputations taking place in Haiti right now, all items used in orthopedic rehab will be in short supply, and we will need to ship these after the primary emergency response items are shipped.”

Congregations can sponsor an entire shipment by paying the transportation costs, approximately $6,000 per 40-foot container. “I know of no other charity that provides more than a million dollars of aide in return for a $6,000 investment,” continued Schrader. “However, considering the great need in Haiti, any gift would greatly benefit the Haitian people.”

Other churches, who wish to assist Children of Abraham’s endeavors by making a materials or cash donations for Haiti relief, can contact the organization at or 219-513-0003.

For more information, financial contributions, checks or money orders can be made out and mailed to: Children of Abraham, Inc., 6635 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, IN 46324. Visit

More than 100 volunteers helped with the Haiti shipments, estimated to be worth $1 million each.

– Champ Merrick

A UMNS file photo

Dr. David Harvey and Karen Little, volunteers with the Children of Abraham, record medical supplies received from a hospital. Children of Abraham is an interfaith organization in Indiana salvaging surplus medical supplies to ship to developing countries. An inventory is kept of the supplies received. The list is sent to doctors at hospitals in developing countries and they can request the supplies they need.