Jimmy Buffett helping Briggs & Stratton

The 240 generators donated by Briggs & Stratton Corp. to provide power to areas of Haiti devastated by a January earthquake remain tied up in customs several weeks after being shipped.

Jimmy Buffett Briggs Stratton Haiti generators

The dilemma has even drawn the attention of singer Jimmy Buffett, who was in the Caribbean nation as part of his own relief effort.

Laura Timm, director of corporate communications for Wauwatosa-based Briggs, recently spent four days in Haiti checking on the status of the generators and touring the ravaged nation. She met Buffett, whose hit songs include “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” in the lobby of her hotel in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and told him of the reason for her trip.

The following morning, Timm received a phone call saying that Buffett wanted to speak with her again. He told her he was on his way to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti for a meeting and said he would mention Briggs & Stratton’s plight.

“I knew that I was entering a country that was beyond poor, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I got off the plane,” Timm said. “It was a total state of chaos and devastation.”

The Jan. 12 earthquake left more than 200,000 people dead and an estimated 1 million without homes.

Briggs & Stratton’s donation, valued at $250,000, was coordinated by Vero Beach, Fla.-based Haiti Partners, which will distribute 190 generators to schools, churches and clinics. The foundation will share its 50 generators with Haiti’s Civil Protection Department.

Timm said she’s confident that the generators soon will clear customs.

“It does take time,” she said. “It’s a little bit frustrating but we’re still being told it’s very, very close. We continue to remain optimistic that this will happen soon.”



Just another example of the Preval government’s criminality.

Generators are desperately needed throughout the earthquake devastated areas.

The government wants to have  these generators turned over to the government, for distribution. What this actually means is they will be turned over to the government and sold commercially.

Elections are supposedly scheduled for November of this year. This will replace the President and most of the parliament. However, this leaves months until some sort of proper administrative capacity even starts to attack the quake problems.

Many will die……waiting…for what remains jammed in the customs sheds by Preval’s cynical criminality.


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