(Nov. 6, 2020) An Ocean City restaurant is donating supplies to villages in Haiti and other Caribbean islands, most of which have been damaged by natural disasters.
Garvey Heiderman, owner of The Hobbit on 81st Street, donated about 2,000 pounds of food he ordered from Sysco to Sail Aid International, a nonprofit that delivers humanitarian aid via sailboat to islands and coastal areas.
On Saturday, Oct. 31, Heiderman, other Hobbit employees and crew members loaded rice, beans, flour and pasta on the Tandemeer, a 1980 Nautical Development 56-foot sailboat at Fourth Street and the bay.
The food will be distributed to Ile a Vache, Haiti.
This is the second year Heiderman coordinated a donation to Sail Aid, with the first time being last fall.
Sequoia Sun, captain of the Tandemeer and founder of Sail Aid International, does sailing tours in the Virgin Islands in the winter and Martha’s Vineyard in the summer.
“As he travels south after the summer, he picks up supplies all the way from New York City to here, Florida, South Carolina, all down — people donate from all over the East Coast,” Heiderman said.
The Tandemeer picks up all kinds of donations, such as solar panels and batteries from Charleston. Last year, Worcester Preparatory School donated computers and a man from Baltimore donated boating supplies that The Hobbit stored until the Tandemeer arrived.
Heiderman got involved with Sail Aid International when he crewed with Sun for about a week-and-a-half in 2018.
He said that his main reason for donating is to give back.
“I thought it was a no-brainer because I have the restaurant down here and we’re a stop on the way,” Heiderman said.
He said he’ll continue to work with Sail Aid International by gathering supplies they need.
The Tandemeer will stop by Ocean City again in the spring and then next October when it sails back down to the Caribbean.
Sun founded Sail Aid International in 2017. The nonprofit regularly takes volunteers to crew for a week or even a month.