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Donation of All-terrain Wheelchairs for The People of Haiti

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-06-17 - Donation of 50 all-terrain wheelchairs by the employees of the Canadian office of Halliburton. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Red Thread.
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Four Canadian employees of Halliburton extend the company's charitable activities by supplying all-terrain wheelchairs to Haiti's amputee population.

The Red Thread Promise, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to providing medical care to orphans around the world, announces the extraordinary donation of 50 all-terrain wheelchairs, plus shipping costs, by the employees of the Canadian office of Halliburton (NYSE: HAL). As part of The Red Thread Promise's Wheelchair Initiative, these desperately needed chairs will be distributed to people in Haiti. TRTP is supporting this donation with its own contribution of the maintenance and repair kits that will keep these wheelchairs in operating condition for years.

We have all read a great deal about the crushing circumstances facing the survivors of Haiti's January earthquake. Among the most needy are thousands of new immobile amputees: men, women, and children. Haiti's economic and social structure has always provided special challenges to a physically handicapped person. In the post-earthquake period, amplified lack of resources coupled with extremely poor road conditions make traversing the mountainous country even more challenging.

A new All Terrain Wheelchair (ATW) can do wonders to help this underserved population. Developed by Mobility International, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, this wheelchair bears little resemblance to a typical wheelchair. Instead, it is geared to rougher urban or rural terrain. Its back wheels are mountain bike tires and it sits lower, with a special seat cushion that absorbs bounce. Special automatic flex suspension controls side-to-side movement, and the front end extends forward to provide front-to-rear stability.

This rugged vehicle is therefore suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor use, from hospitals to city streets to off-road terrain. Its heavy-duty construction is ideal for passage over the steep ascents and descents characteristic of the roads and pathways in rural areas of Haiti where it is most critically needed. Kathy Korge Albergate, President of TRTP, says, "This generous donation will make an immediate, direct, and profound difference to the recipients, enabling children to return to school and adults to find or return to work."

Each year Halliburton hosts the Halliburton Academy, an event that brings together over one thousand employees from all over the world in Business Development, Technology, Operations and Functional groups to learn more about company's strategies and technologies. During the event, employees play the Chairman's Cup Golf tournament, with part of the entry fee earmarked for a charity that is chosen by the winning team. The Red Thread Promise wishes to thank the members of the winning team, John Gorman, Sheldon Harbinson, Fred Farmer and Trent Ulmer, from Canada, for choosing the Wheelchair Initiative.

The donated chairs are scheduled to land in Port au Prince in June, and then will go to Mountain Top Ministries (MTM) in nearby Gramothe for distribution. MTM is a well-established institution that provides a school and clinic to impoverished mountain residents of Haiti. One of the organization's chief priorities has been to help fellow Haitians take ownership of their nation and work to defeat generational poverty, village by village. Willem Charles, founder of MTM, says, "We are delighted with this promising response to our great need for all terrain wheelchairs. Not only will this donation provide independence to handicapped members of our community, but we have a well-equipped workshop ready to provide training in assembly and maintenance of the wheelchairs."

About Halliburton - Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With more than 50,000 employees in approximately 70 countries, the company serves the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the life cycle of the reservoir - from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field. Visit the company's Web site at www.halliburton.com.

About The Red Thread Promise (TRTP) - The Red Thread Promise (TRTP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing medical care to the world's orphans, has a long-standing relationship with Mountain Top Ministries. Members of TRTP visit Haiti regularly, hand-carrying supplies and teaching English in the school. President Albergate says, "The Haitian mountains are a constant obstacle to impoverished disabled children, adults and seniors attempting to maneuver through the rough terrain. These all terrain wheelchairs can provide a life-changing experience for those who are immobile. We are grateful to have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of so many people in need." Learn more or donate at www.redthreadpromise.org.






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