Then about six months after the new cafeteria opened the demands of producing several hundred meals a day proved to be too much for the old CRUDEM oven. Several of the burners were cracked and the oven itself was struggling. It was just a matter of time before the oven and range failed entirely.
The hospital explored alternatives and local sources were checked, but a replacement unit bought on the local market was just too costly. Commercial quality ovens and ranges are expensive anywhere, but particularly so in Haiti, where everything has to be imported and the in-country distribution system is inefficient at best.
CRUDEM staff sent emails to several potential sources seeking discounted pricing for a replacement oven and range. One such email went to Chris O’Herlihy, an Executive Vice President of Hobart Corporation. Instead of deleting our email — which happens to emails from non-profits more often than not — he sent our request on to the Hobart Corporation/ITW Food Equipment Group.
Within a day or so, we received an email from the Food Equipment Group stating that they would donate a brand new oven and range along with a four-burner hotplate. This would give the kitchen a total of eight-burners with which to cook and an ideally sized oven.Perfect for our needs. Hobart Corporation/ITW Food Equipment Group even paid for the freight cost from Mexico City, where the equipment was located, to Hollywood, Florida, where all of CRUDEM’s shipments to Hôpital Sacré Coeur are loaded into a container and shipped to Cap Haïtien duty free. The value of this generous gift from Hobart Corporation to CRUDEM, including shipping costs, is approximately $8,000 (US).
We are very grateful to Raul Aguado, General Manager of the Latin America Division of Hobart Corporation/ITW Food Equipment Group. Mr. Aguado had no previous experience with CRUDEM or Hôpital Sacré Coeur, but a single email from us, forwarded to him by Mr. O’Herlihy, resulted in an enormously kind gift to our hospital. Mr. Aguado then turned things over to his colleague, Alma Rodríguez, who handled the considerable logistical challenges of shipping two large and valuable pieces of kitchen equipment from Mexico City to Hollywood, FL.
Thanks to Mr. O’Herlihy, Mr. Aguado, Ms. Rodríguez and everyone at Hobart Corporation for their unconditional support for Hôpital Sacré Coeur. They have made a big difference in the life of our hospital.