Inspiration Information — Heroes Haiti

by aaron on August 15, 2010

“The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by.”Felix Adler

A month later and the overwhelming devastation in Haiti seems to already be fading to the periphery of conscience, like some disturbing nightmare that haunts us in flashes throughout the day, but gradually loses its power and fabric in the sunlight.  We as a culture are impulsive, emotional, reactive.  When news first hit of the earthquake and the enormous need, we responded instantly, in huge outpourings of support.  News flooded with reports of destruction, loss of life, chaos.  But there also spread greater floods of monetary aid, waves of relief volunteers, miracle rescues, community heroes, hope.

Politicians put down their war of word and picked up shovels.  Corporations stepped up to bat.  Technology expedited the ease and speed of charity (cell phone companies have raised more than $30 million through text messages).  The celebrity studded Hope for Haiti concert raised a record breaking $58 million.  We as individuals broke through the walls of cynicism and malaise and lifted aside the rubble as best we could.  We came together in crisis for positive change.

But we as a culture are not wired for collective memory.  And after the initial shock wears off, after we’ve given our donations, written our inspiration posts, talked and wept and released… then we are already ready to forget.  We’ve done our part.  We’ve made our contribution.  Now it’s time to move on with our own lives, our own struggles and crisis.  And Haiti will heal.  Haiti will fade to the corners of the mind.

But as the singer so rightly said “It’s a long long road to travel, and a heavy load to bear.” And it is especially in these aftermath times when attention wanders, when our ADD minds distract and turn away, that the real heroes emerge.  The people who stay when the first responders leave.  Who hold up the blazing torches in the dark streets and serve as lighthouses in the sea of storm-wrecked survivors.  Who fight on even when everyone else forgets.

Meet Tad Agoglia and Doc Hendley.

Both are former CNN heroes.  Both have dedicated their careers and lives toward helping others.  And both are currently in Haiti, using all the resources they have to save lives.

For 18 years Tad Agoglia operated a Disaster Relief company, that would come in after natural disasters and clear roads and buildings with giant tractors and cranes.  It was hard work, good work, but it wasn’t enough.  Oftentimes it would take several days, if not weeks before local authorities could organize rescue efforts.  And companies such as Tad’s would be on hold for contracts to close before they were allowed to work.  Tad got sick of waiting.

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“The most critical phase of a disaster is the first few days.”  Tad says.  It’s the time period  when people are most desperately in need of food, water, and medical attention.  And so Tad liquidized his business, took all of his life savings and started an independent non profit — The First Response Team of America.  Ever since, he spends 12 months on the road, going where the need is greatest and offering his services as quickly as he can, with no red tape to slow down his operations.

Tad and his crew use caterpillar loaders, grapple trucks, generators, water pumps, satellite communication systems, off-road scouting vehicles, and hovercrafts. When they arrive at a disaster site, they clear the roads of debris, pump out flooded water, help search for people trapped under debris, and use generators to power hospitals and government buildings, for free.  And right now, they are in Haiti, clearing debris and building shelters.

doc-hendley-300x218I wrote about Doc Hendley before.  This unassuming former bartender has transformed his life into an international mission to bring fresh water to impoverished communities around the world.  Places like Darfur, Uganda and Cambodia where lack of clean water kills more people than aids and malaria combined.  His goal is to train locals on the ground how to filter water or drill wells.  It’s the same ” teach a man to fish” motto, and Doc is dedicated teacher.

And now he’s also in Haiti, fighting a battle that gets little media attention and is often so tragically overlooked.  In the wake of the Earthquake, access to clean water is an extreme issue.  Dehydration and hunger  killing as many people now as collapsed buildings and broken limbs.

The simple, basic needs are always the most crucial.  And in these situations it seems the simple, basic heroes are always the most effective.

To Tad, Doc and everyone on the ground fighting to protect and save lives, we applaud and appreciate you.  And because of your efforts, because of your torch-bright spirits we will not forget.  We will keep our lights shining, in support of yours.

One comment

[…] relief workers diving headfirst to lend support in Haiti.  People like Todd Shea, Ben Skinner and Tad Agoglia.  Not to mention the United Nations raising a record $10 billion in reconstruction […]

by Inspiration Information — Year in Review |Twin Ink on January 3, 2011 at 2:31 am. Reply #

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