The effort was launched in December and aimed to send dozens of corrugated metal homes to Haiti in addition to thousands of soybean-based meals.
Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is helping head up the project, called: “Special Delivery. Homes. Help. Hope. For Haiti.”
“Our original goal was to raise enough money to build 48 homes down in Haiti,” Reynolds says. “Today, we are so proud to announce that with the help of Iowans all across the state, we were able to send enough contributions to Global Compassion Network to put in place 64 homes.”
Global Compassion Network is based in the northwest Iowa town of Laurens. The metal homes are converted grain bins built by Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield, just south of Mason City.
They’re made of 20-gauge galvanized steel and can be set up in a matter of hours. Each home costs about $6,700. The lieutenant governor says a large quantity of food is also being sent to the empoverished island nation, which was devastated by the quake in January of 2010.
“The Iowa Soybean Association had pledged they would donate a thousand dollars for each home built, up to $48,000, to deliver Meals From The Heartland, a soy-based nutrient for individuals in Haiti,” Reynolds says. “They were able to provide over 230,000 servings of soy-based meals from Meals From The Heartland.”
More than 600,000 Haitians who were displaced by the earthquake are still living in camps. Reynolds says several acres of land were purchased by Global Compassion Network to build the round houses.
“Already, 35 homes have been built,” Reynolds says. “The meals are on their way. They shipped out today and they will have another shipment of homes from Sukup Manufacturing going out next week.”
Sukup officials say the design of the home ensures it’s extremely resistant to earthquake damage. Ballasts or boxes filled with sand are used to anchor the home to the ground and engineers say the homes can withstand up to 130-mile-an-hour winds, an important design feature in hurricane-prone Haiti. If those boxes of sand are topped with soil, they can be used as vegetable gardens.
Each unit costs $5,700 to make at the Sukup plant in Sheffield. Another $1,000 is spent to ship the home to Haiti and to lay concrete for the floor of the “Safe-T-Home.”
The lieutenant governor says this project has been very rewarding.
“I’m so proud to be associated with it,” Reynolds says. “It’s certainly a trademark of Iowans that when there’s a need, they don’t hesitate to be generous and step up and meet it. It’s been a phenomenal project to be a part of.”
Learn more at: www.iowafoodandfamily.com