Friday, May 27, 2011

Reiser Relief keeps wheels turning in Haiti

by Sue Austreng Staff Writer -
Saturday, May 7, 2011

Their hearts beating with boundless compassion and their wallets eager for bountiful harvest, some 500 guests attended the April 26 Bringing Hope to Haiti fund-raising event at the Courtyards of Andover.

The fifth annual Reiser Relief fund-raiser was staged at the Courtyards of Andover and guests did, indeed, to their best to “keep the wheel turning.”

That wheel – the wheel of life fueled by Reiser Relief projects providing fresh water, stocking food centers and funding education and eldercare facilities – is turning in the impoverished country of Haiti.

According to Doris Schulte, vice president of the Reiser Relief board, $55,000 in donations have been collected as a result of the event – and checks are still coming in.

editorial note from Reiser Relief May 14th "Thank you for generously supporting our Keep The Wheel Turning - Haiti Fundraising Event, held April 24. We are pleased to share that we raised $82,000 for Reiser Relief projects that evening. Praise God! We are so grateful for your participation!"

Money was raised at the April 26 event when guests purchased $5 general admission tickets, participated in live and silent auctions, purchased raffle tickets, paid entry fees to play a couple of games and bought copies of Rev. Bernard Reiser’s devotional book, “Reiser’s Ramblings.”
“We are so grateful for the generosity of so many people,” said Schulte.

Reiser, the founder of Reiser Relief and longtime priest at Epiphany Catholic Church, Coon Rapids, echoed Schulte’s sentiment.

“We are so grateful for the support from all of you,” Reiser said. “May God bless each of you most abundantly and know you are in my daily Mass and prayers.”

Fresh water project

In addition to Bringing Hope to Haiti fund-raiser money going to Reiser Relief’s Haitian service projects, a refurbished water truck will be sent to the Caribbean country, as well.

The truck, acquired and refurbished by Harri Rinta, will be used along with a second Reiser Relief water truck to deliver fresh, free water to 24 neighborhoods in one of the poorest slums in the western hemisphere.

Kevin McClellan, coordinator of the Reiser Relief fresh water project, said that the project provides yearly delivery of more than four million gallons of clean water to the poor in the Haitian slum of Cité Soleil.

According to, the Reiser Relief water trucks deliver four 3,500-gallon loads of water, six days a week, 52 weeks per year to thousands of people.

That is the equivalent of 800,000 five gallon buckets of water each year.

Birth of Reiser Relief

Reiser Relief was formed by Reiser shortly after he returned from his first trip to Haiti more than a dozen years ago.

Since its beginning, as stated on its website, Reiser Relief has “helped to bestow new hope for many hundreds of God’s needy people through the generosity of a great number of people.”

Reiser Relief monthly expenses include:
• $2,000 to pay salaries for Haitian water truck drivers, maintain the trucks and buy fuel

• $2,500 for teachers’ salaries

• $1,250 to cover the costs of running two schools

Those interested in learning more about Reiser Relief – and those who would like to make a donation – should visit

Donations can also be sent to Reiser Relief, Inc., 1800 111th Ave. N.W., #320, Coon Rapids, MN 55433.

All donations to the 501(c)3 non-profit organization are tax deductible.

Sue Austreng is at

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