How AMURT trucks relief goods from Asheville to Haiti

Last week, Xpress reported an invitation to Ashevilleans to donate relief supplies for Haiti. The goods would be picked up at a downtown location and trucked to Florida, and from there taken by boat to the island.

But what happened to those goods, how would they get there, and just who was taking them to Haiti?

It turns out the trucking project was organized by the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, otherwise known as AMURT.

What’s more, there will be another truck picking up donated goods from Asheville early next week — and there’s still time for people to help.

Here’s what happened to last week’s shipment — and information about AMURT’s upcoming pickup this Thursday — as reported on Jan. 21 by one of the locals working on the project:

Thank you, Asheville, for responding to speedily to the call for collection of goods for AMURT/AMURTEL HAITI RELIEF AID!!

Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team /Ladies (AMURTEL) team leader Didi Ananda Jiivaprema skyped that she has fed about 10,000 people these last days. An emergency medical clinic is running from both AMURT/AMURTEL schools. Three more team doctors are en route from USA.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, two fully packed vans left Asheville, bound for South Carolina, where they met with our truck en route to Miami for a pre-arranged free cargo shipment to the island. The goods will be picked up at a port in the Dominican Republic by our on-site AMURT/AMURTEL teams and trucked into Port Au Prince. Total sent was seven pallets on this first shipment.

We will continue to send shipments, so please continue to help this dire situation, so we have an ongoing appeal for more donated goods: food, water and medical supplies, so team members are able to help others.

In short, priority items needed are: sleeping mats & bedding, tarps & tents & rope, institutional-size pots ‘n pans, institutional-size bowls, utensils, towels, nutritious food stuffs, bulk grains, beans, granola & nutritional yeast, hand-sanitizers and handi-wipes, hydration powders, vitamins & green powders, energy bars, medical supplies & equipment, knee/elbow pads, solar chargers, baby & children’s clothes and shoes, ready-to-use baby formula/food, hand tools, all sizes of zip-lock bags. Oh, and packing tape! For a full list of priority items, call us @ tel. 828-255-8777, a.m. & p.m.

The NEXT DEADLINE to receive goods is SATURDAY NIGHT, January 30 (earlier is better, of course) at 22 RAVENSCROFT DRIVE, Downtown Asheville, off Hilliard. Volunteers to help pack & more sturdy boxes are gratefully accepted. 

Lastly, if anyone wants to do a fundraising event for AMURT, we’re ready to accept that too!

Please visit one of our websites for more info:,, All donations are tax exempt. 

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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