The Global Aid Network (GAiN) aid organization, headquartered in Gießen, is involved over the long term in assisting the earthquake victims in Haiti. It has already sent eleven shipments of food and baby food to the country. Further aid shipments are planned. To ensure secure interim storage and distribution of the aid goods, GAiN is building a 500 square meter hall, made of containers with a steel structure roof, in Chambrun. Currently the foundations and floor slab are being prepared. Although GAiN had not expected to receive the steel structure as a donation, the project triggered an amazing wave of readiness to assist. It all started with architect Edgar Zeiß from Lich and structural analyst Erich Zettl from Gießen, who both spontaneously waived their fees for the planning services. An inquiry was then received by CHRISTMANN + PFEIFER in Gönnern (close to Gladenbach) to prepare a quotation for a delivery named "Warehouse for disaster aid in Chambrun/Haiti". It's quite understandable that, with such a project, the background was outlined in a little more detail in addition to gathering the constructional facts. It then quickly became clear to Jürgen Tesch, Structural Steelwork Divisional Director at CHRISTMANN + PFEIFER, that there is also a large amount of aid potential that can be leveraged at CHRISTMANN + PFEIFER.
As soon as he internally announced the destination of this steel roof structure and the motivation of the "customer", many workers responded that they also wanted to actively help. This gave employees the spontaneous idea of completing the whole project in their leisure time: stress analysts calculate the project, designers draw and production staff manufacture - all in their leisure time. But it didn't stop there: Employees who are not directly involved in the project requested vacation time from C + P so that they could also contribute aid indirectly. "The great thing about this type of aid is that everyone can help, regardless of how much he or she earns. You don't have to travel to Haiti yourself, but everyone can still give what they can - namely by getting involved themselves and donating their own time", explains production manager Daniel Pfeifer. With this type of aid you can be sure that it really arrives where it is needed and its benefits are also clearly visible.
Spurred on by this example, the managing board is now also getting involved and has succeeded in bringing partners and suppliers, such as steel dealers and galvanizing firms, on board with the project. Success has been amazing here too. For example, some materials and galvanizing have been provided free of charge for the project, while CHRISTMANN + PFEIFER is bearing the remaining costs.
On July 7, 2010 some 30 employees of CHRISTMANN + PFEIFER were able to hand the aid organization the completed design plans along with the completed structure. The hall lies in the production department in Breidenbach – broken down into manageable parts so that it can easily be transported and erected on-site without the need for heavy equipment. Next week, the 15 tons of steel will be galvanized and then shipped to Haiti in a container.