Tonnes of vital aid – donated by Derbyshire folk – was shipped off to The Philippines at the weekend to help the millions in desperate need after Typhoon Haiyan.
But the shipment would never have left the county had it not been for the generosity of Ilkeston firm PMB Pallet Express.
Mick Plunkett and his Filipino wife, Tina, organised a collection day in their home city of Derby, where more than 250 people donated aid – some travelling from as far as Ilkeston, Sandiacre, Stapleford and Long Eaton.
But when Mick rang around freight firms, none were willing to help – and one major company said it would transport the aid for £9,900.
It was only PMB Pallett Express in Hallam Fields Road which offered to take the goods at no charge to Heathrow Airport, where they were shipped to the islands, devastated by the storm a fortnight ago.
From there, London-based firm Forex provided a 40-foot shipping container free of charge to fly the goods to the disaster-stricken islands.
“We are grateful to the people who united together in a time of mega disaster to bring not only humanitarian aid to people in the Philipines, but sincere hope for the future that people on the other side of the world care,” said Mick, 65.
Mick, formerly of Cotmanhay, has sent off aid to disaster stricken countries since the Yugoslavian war in the 1990s.
Gary Frost, transport manager at PMB, offered Mick and his army of volunteers, a lorry to carry the 16 pallets –26 tonnes – of aid to London.
He said his staff were affected by what they read and saw about the disaster in the news.
“It was a no brainer for us,” he explained.
“I think anything like that affects you. You’ve got to be cold-blooded for it not to.
“For the sake of a bit of diesel, it was nothing – we were happy to help.”
Mick’s wife Tina has relatives in the Philippines who have survived the typhoon but have lost their home like millions of others.
They are now planning a second shipment and require more donated items from the people of Derbyshire – and Mr Frost has again agreed to transport the goods free of charge.
Call Mick on 07973 281942 if you can donate items including, bedding, blankets, clothing for adults and children, toys, tinned food, toiletries, plasters, bandages, soap, toothpaste or towels.