World Council of Credit Unions Executive Vice President and COO Brian Branch and Dave Richardson, the WOCCU senior manager who oversees the Haiti program, entered Haiti today to deliver much needed supplies for the program's 16 staff members.
"Our first thought in disaster situations is to stabilize our staff and provide them with the basics of food, water, clothing and a place to sleep," Richardson said. "Our second step is to help the public with general relief, and we have chosen to work with Food for the Poor based on the quick and efficient response they have demonstrated in disaster situations."
Mike Muckian, senior manager of communications, said WOCCU has received approximately $200,000 in donations as of late yesterday afternoon. Donated funds will first purchase food, water and necessities, then focus on rebuilding credit unions.
"Once WOCCU is able to assess all credit union damage, we will begin a formal rebuilding program to get credit unions back on their feet and assist them in helping as many members as possible," Richardson said.
Those efforts will include providing assistance to rebuild credit unions as necessary, training credit union staff to implement emergency loan programs and helping them implement crisis management strategies, he said.