Broward News

Vietnam Vet Organizes Christmas Airdrop in Haiti

South Florida veteran Charles Buford is seeking donations for people in Haiti, and his act of charity is both a nod to his days in the service and an effective, though vintage, means of spreading supplies -- an airdrop. If all goes as planned, sometime in December, toys and supplies will glide through the air and land in the hands of some of Haiti's neediest residents in remote areas.


"After going through so much, they deserve at least a little smile at Christmastime. We have right now 25,000 pounds of goods to send to Haiti. We have medicines; we have hospital beds; we have prosthesis pieces," says Buford, who organized all of this through his nonprofit, Make a Wish Veterans. But don't worry: The hospital beds and prosthetic extremities won't be dropped from planes.

Buford also emphasized his push to provide as many sleeping bags as possible. "Children are still sleeping on the wet ground," he says. "The more money we raise, we will divide it between sleeping bags and gifts and other items that are needed." Buford said it's best for people to donate money because he works with manufacturers to get supplies at a low cost. But, of course, he will accept donations of supplies, as long as the items have never been used.

Buford says that the airdrop is plan A but that he has several other plans to distribute the goods if an airdrop ends up being too difficult to carry out. "Like the military, you change your plans to win the war," Buford says.

People can donate at his website, christmasforhaiti.org.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Leslie Minora