Ted Buczek has spent a lot of time and money helping the less fortunate in the Dominican Republic, but without the help of others in the community, he says that work will end very soon.
What started out a few years ago as a campaign to send bicycles to impoverished children in the Caribbean nation has grown into a huge undertaking, involving hospital supplies, beds, wheelchairs, walkers, and much more.
Buczek estimated he has helped facilitate the delivery of over $10-million worth of goods via 13 huge containers, each of which cost about $5,000 US to ship to the Dominican.
The 14th container will be packed this weekend and plans are for the 15th to leave some time next month.
But after that, it is unclear what will happen.
“We’ve gone as far as we can financially, and we’re looking to the community for help,” Buczek said.
He and his wife, Marlene, have personally funded about 10 of the containers, with a total combined shipping cost of $50,000 to $65,000.
He told The Advertiser he has all the connections and materials necessary – his barn just outside Fergus is packed with goods waiting to go – now he just needs some financial help.
“If I find out it can’t be financed, then it’s over as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We’ll go until the money runs out … all we’re saying is, ‘Give us a chance to continue.’ ”
Buczek said he knows there is likely individuals or businesses out there who would be willing to help – especially if they knew the impact the goods are having on the recipients.
“These people have nothing,” he said. “It’s mind blowing [how much they appreciate it].”
Buczek said he does not mind the labour involved in his charity work, which he said takes up about two and a half days a week. And he gets help from various groups such as the Rockwood Lions Club, a Fergus church group, and high school students who need to fill community volunteer hours.
All that is missing now is the money.
He said anyone wanting to make a donation can make cheques payable to St. Joseph Church, in Fergus, for which they will receive a charitable receipt.
For more information contact Ted Buczek at 519-843-4545.