Many of you have found out myself and a lot of the Heligunner team have been down in the affected areas of the coast and asked "how can we help" or "who can we donate to" to help in the rescue/relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
I now have a good answer for you.
The purpose of this campaign is to get the 5 ton truck serviced and back into ready status ASAP, with Hurricane Irma looming on the horizon this may unfortunately be sooner than later.
Our 5 ton truck, a mid 90s former military M923A2 was sent down to the coastal areas with Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR), while down there it moved tons of people from otherwise inaccessible homes in 3-6 feet of water, to shelters and dryer ground, it transported rescue boats to deep enough waters to be launched, (one of the big problems in the Dickinson and Friendswood areas was that we would come upon 4-5 foot deep waters, which are deep enough to lauch a boat, but then 50 feet on the other side was dry pavement, so once the boat got there, it was stuck, then more water, so the ability to get through the many deep water flooded areas to the areas where the boat REALLY needed to be launched was crucial.) The truck and crew even came upon an ambulance stuck in flood waters that was en route to the local hospital for a patient in labor, the crew was able to quickly ditch the rescue boat and convert to an ambulance transporting the patient, father to be and a paramedic to the hospital through 4-5 feet of water. (We later learned that the baby was delivered within about an hour of us dropping her off at the hospital!)
Through all of this the truck ran strong, however upon getting to Beaumont, it had finally had enough. The high pressure injector pump has gone out, disabling the truck where it sits. Let me be completely clear, this pump did NOT fail as a result of high water or excessive use during this deployment, this pump failed because it is (likely) 25 years old, has thousands of miles on it and sat for who knows how many years unused in a field before we got it.
Many members of TEXSAR have offered to help pay for the pump, which I at first politely declined, now I'm having to be a bit less polite and a bit more brash and tell them no!
The high pressure injector pump for our M923A2 is about $3,000, thus the $3,000 goal for this campaign. Any additional funds over $3,000 will be used to do other similar preventative maintenance/upgrades to the 5 ton truck to make it a more useful asset for situations like this. If we end up with considerably more than the needed funds we’ll donate the extra over to TEXSAR.
Alternatively anyone that wants to donate directly to a non-profit is strongly encouraged to do so directly to TEXSAR, they are a group of people that work professionally, hard and in direct course with disaster response, this is a group of people that make a HUGE difference and funds are spent very frugally to ensure they are able to provide as much assistance as possible.
Please be completely clear that I am not affiliated with TEXSAR and do not represent them, I am not collecting funds on their behalf, however the majority of the Heligunner staff will be officially joining them soon (assuming they accept us). We have made our 5 ton truck available to them to use at their discretion for this event and will continue to make it available to them as soon as we get it back into operational status! Funds will be withdrawn from gofundme into my account so the money can go towards repairs and any additional money after repairs will go to Texsar.
- Valley Truck Parts
- Jamie Iacobacci
- Firecracker John
- Chris Q
- Tiffany Arnone
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more