In 1992 Hurricane Andrew hit the Florida coast leaving countless people without the barest essentials of daily living.  While volunteer efforts and various relief organizations provided food and temporary shelter, the lack of a fuel resource became immediately apparent and the kernel of an idea was planted.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf States in September 2005, lack of fuel contributed to victims of the hurricane being unable to access necessary food, water, and shelter. In addition, many would need to rely on the power of generators for weeks and sometimes months, before regular power was restored.  That kernel of an idea planted in 1992 germinated in September of 2005, when Board Members authorized a “fuel relief” tanker truck filled with gasoline to journey from California to Mississippi and then on to Louisiana.  Survivors of the hurricane were provided with free gasoline to run their automobiles and generators aiding them in their time of need. First-hand accounts of how this donation contributed to the quality of life immediately following a disaster, prompted the establishment of the nonprofit organization, Fuel Relief Fund.

On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti leaving the entire country without power. Fuel Relief Fund responded immediately and, within two days of securing a small tanker truck and a source of fuel, provided all the fuel needed to power generators for police stations, hospitals, clinics, tent cities, and orphanages. The fuel donation continued for over two months.

When the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011, again Fuel Relief Fund reacted immediately. Temperatures in this part of Japan were below freezing and all victims were left without power. Fuel Relief Fund provided heating oil, which kept families warm for days no doubt increasing the survival rate and offering the literal warmth of friendship and caring along with hope for the future.

Once more in the winter of 2011, Fuel Relief Fund responded to a major disaster. This time the team traveled to Van, Turkey and assisted victims of the earthquake there by providing coal to help those affected by the disaster to keep warm and comfortable in temporary shelters, tents and homes.

On November 3, 2012 the Fuel Relief Fund responded to Superstorm Sandy. After two weeks of relief, the team dispensed over 35,000 gallons of free fuel to thousands of disaster survivors and to a variety of emergency response vehicles. Bill Lavin, an Elizabeth, New Jersey fire captain assisting Fuel Relief Fund in Hoboken, had this to say about the response efforts: “I couldn’t help but noticing, there was a line for water 20 people long, a line for food 30 people deep, and then looked at the line for fuel which stretched 250 to 300 strong. Validating exactly what you told me, without fuel, not much else can get accomplished.”

Finally, on November 11, 2013 the Fuel Relief Fund team arrived in Tacloban to provide free fuel to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Our team has helped provide fuel to both the public, several cities, first responders, and other relief groups. This free fuel has powered ambulances, motorcycles, and generators (many of which are used to provide clean water to those in need).

Fuel Relief Fund knows it is not “if” but “when” the next disaster will occur. Furthermore, we know that when that disaster does become a reality, the essentials of life… food, water, shelter, and fuel will be needed. By providing fuel we help relieve some of the suffering in extremely difficult times.

Obviously, our ability to continue this humanitarian service depends on the generosity of many. All personnel involved in Fuel Relief Fund and its disaster relief activities volunteer their time and receive no compensation from monies donated to the Fuel Relief Fund. Through ongoing fundraising and successful receipt of monthly pledges and commitment gifts, Fuel Relief Fund will be able to help where necessary. Your contributions will be invaluable! They will help Fuel Relief Fund prepare to mobilize immediately following a disaster. It is also our pleasure to inform you that all personnel, including board members, volunteer their time and are not compensated by Fuel Relief Fund.

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