Bekins Agent Donates Services

Reprinted article from Jo Ann Kirby
By Jo Ann Kirby
Record Staff Writer
June 06, 2009 6:00 AM

STOCKTON - Kerry Pou, Marcus Barrios and Ruben Guardiola have moved their fair share of appliances working at Pacific Storage Co. But on Wednesday, they were considering how to carefully pack a refrigerator bound for Moldova, a tiny, landlocked country 7,000 miles away.
And this wasn't any ordinary fridge. This blood-bank refrigerator needed to fit into a lift van - a sturdy, wooden box - so it could be placed inside a metal freight container for overseas shipment.

The three Pacific Storage employees succeeded, and the refrigerator and thousands of dollars' worth of donated medical supplies will sail Sunday for Romania, from where the freight will then be trucked inland to the Republic of Moldova (population: 4million).
"It's our way of just doing a good deed," said Greg Tudor, president and CEO of Pacific Storage. His company donated the labor, lift vans and storage space to a Berkeley-based nonprofit humanitarian organization that aims to help modernize medicine in developing countries.
"We're happy to help," Tudor said. "They ship it here; we receive it and store it. It's ready to ship out, so we're putting everything in these locked lift vans."

Cindy Basso Eaton, a Stockton native and president of Global Healing, said the medical equipment will help the Oncology Institute in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, bring its national blood service up to international standards. Moldova was part of the Soviet Union before gaining its independence in the 1990s, and it remains one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe.
Without support from Stockton connections, Eaton said, Global Healing "would not be as successful in creating self-sufficient medical programs in the developing world."

Pacific Storage owners, including Charles Wagner and Bob Foy, began offering their help to the nonprofit organization several years ago. "We used to have to store this stuff in my garage," Eaton said as she pointed to the pallets of donated items ready to be packed into the lift vans. "This is just huge - to have this storage space, these lift vans, all this help."

The five lift vans Pacific Storage, an agent for Bekins Van Lines, offered were filled Wednesday with a wide assortment of tens of thousands of dollars' worth blood bank equipment - including syringes, plasma storage equipment and centrifuges - that had been shipped to the Stockton facility over the past 60 days.

The vans were locked and fitted into a metal shipping container as Eaton and Global Healing program manager Luke Ifland expressed hope that the vital supplies would be safe from thieves after the freight is unloaded in a Romanian port for its journey by land to Moldova. "Everything we're sending is brand new. This refrigerator, for instance, was donated by Helmer Inc., and I just really want all this to get there safely," Eaton said.

The medical goods will set sail Sunday from the Port of Oakland thanks to a substantial shipping discount made possible through another Stockton connection, and the shipment is expected to arrive at its final destination in late July or early August. After the freight arrives in Moldova, it will be set up and calibrated. A volunteer team of specialists from Northern California and Reno will train their Moldovan counterparts to operate, maintain and repair the equipment.

John Pasha, vice president of automotive services for the Pasha Group of Corte Madera, an automotive shipping company, is married to Stockton native Erin Heffernan and secured the shipping discount along with his firm's logistical help. Eaton said she called Pasha when she was trying to figure out what would be the most secure route for Global Healing's fragile cargo.  What she got was so much more than advice.

"Everyone has been extremely gracious in helping with this effort," Eaton said, adding that she is proud and appreciative of her Stockton ties. "This is just huge."
Contact Reporter Jo Ann Kirby at (209) 546-9256 or jkirby@recordnet.com.

About Bekins Van Lines
Bekins Van Lines has divisions that include Bekins International Group and Bekins Tradeshow Services.  The company has been providing quality household goods relocation services and high value products transportation services domestically and internationally for corporate accounts and private relocation customers since 1891.  More information about Bekins can be found on the company’s website at www.bekins.com.
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Bekins Van Lines