Minnesota companies give big to Haiti relief

Minnesota companies are among those making big donations to the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee for people in Haiti.

The Mosaic Company, Allina, DART Transit and other local businesses gave money, food, medical supplies, satellite telephones, and tents.

The Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee has gathered the contributions in a local warehouse. The group's president, Daniel Wordsworth, hopes the supplies will get to Haitians who need them by early next week.

"It's not hard to get these goods to Miami -- that's just a semi trailer," Wordsworth said. "It's not hard to get it on an airplane to get it to Haiti. The hard bit is landing it in Haiti, finding warehouse space still available and standing, finding trucks in Haiti that can actually pick this up. Weaving your way through these districts to deliver the goods in a way that's safe; that's the real challenge."

Wordsworth said he didn't have to ask for most contributions.

"Many of these companies actually called us and made the offer. So we just followed up with them," he said. "There's been a huge outpouring of generosity. Something's really connected with people in Minnesota and in the us and it's made a big difference in our ability to get down there and help those people."

An American Refugee Committee board member will accompany the supplies to Haiti to make sure they arrive and are distributed properly.

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