McGintys successful in Haiti aid journey

       T.J. McGinty and his 19-year-old son Ryan returned from Haiti last week, gratified that they had been able to deliver aid to those who needed it in the earthquake- ravaged country.

Ryan McGinty walks along a street in earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during the aid trip there with his father, T.J. McGinty.
Courtesy of McGinty family

       “It was nothing short of an amazing trip,” he said. “It had all the elements, including fear of embarrasment. People had donated all these supplies and money, and we were stuck in Fort Lauderdale for a day and a half because we couldn't get a flight in.”
       They had taken the trip on behalf of Cloud of Fire, a non-profit organization which sponsors an orphanage in Haiti's main city of Port-au-Prince. The West-side resident and his son had gone before, but the Jan. 12 earthquake not only increased the need, it complicated getting in and out.
       Once the McGintys found a plane from Fort Lauderdale, things started to fall into place. They made it to Port-au-Prince (by way of the neighboring country of Santo Domingo) Jan. 21, then spent the day dropping off aid to two orphanages and to an obscure “village” in the middle of town that probably would not have gotten aid for a much longer time otherwise, T.J. McGinty said.
       The aid-givers' luck continued that afternoon, when the McGintys were able to hitch a lift on an executive jet back to Florida.
       By that evening, father and son were on a commercial flight from Miami to Colorado Springs.
       T.J. doesn't want to overstate the mission of mercy, realizing it's just a small piece of the major rescue effort in Haiti. However, “we were able to get stuff to people who needed it,” he said. “I'm humbled by the whole thing.”

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