Letter: Katie Peckler Vanuatu Relief fund set up at Alpine Bank | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Katie Peckler Vanuatu Relief fund set up at Alpine Bank

Katie Peckler Vanuatu Relief fund set up at Alpine Bank

We would like to thank those who expressed concern and support for our daughter Katie Peckler and the people of Vanuatu following the devastation from Cyclone Pam. Also thanks to Madeleine Osberger for the wonderful article “Local woman returning to Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam” on March 25, 2015 in the Aspen Daily News covering Katie’s experience with the people of Vanuatu and the cyclone.

The article generated interest among many who want to help. An account has been set up at Alpine Bank specifically for donations. All donations go directly to the people of Baitora, via a Peace Corps account in Vanuatu. The funds will be used for necessary supplies to bridge the gap between the planting of new crops and getting the village of about 250 people back to normal. The main concern is getting fresh water and supplying the villagers with food until the crops can be harvested.

Katie was able to return to her village on March 29, 2015 by way of the capital Port Vila. The destruction in Port Vila and the islands hit directly by the cyclone was sobering. Many people lost their homes (roughly 90 percent of the structures sustained damage) and the streets were clogged with fallen trees and rubble. Electrical service was spotty and there was only limited communication. All the fruit had been stripped from the banana and coconut trees by wind and gardens were destroyed by flooding. Mothers were seen begging for food. Eighty percent of the population is engaged in agriculture, mostly subsistence farming and copra production.

Thank you for your caring and support. We hope you can find it in your hearts to contribute to the aid relief in Vanuatu, regardless of which organization you chose.

David and Barb Peckler

Snowmass Village

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