Updated: Wednesday, 01 Jul 2009, 11:11 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 01 Jul 2009, 6:23 PM EDT
SPRING LAKE, Mich. (WOOD) - International Aid, a Spring Lake-based relief agency, is closing.
The agency does not have the resources to continue even for one more day, its board chair Roger Spoelman said Wednesday. It is shutting down immediately.
"When different expenditures were brought to our attention, it came to the point where it was impossible to go on with the organization," acting CEO Dr. Gordon Loux said.
The closure will put 40 U.S. employees out of work, and another 32 in Honduras and the Philippines.
International Aid is a Christian-based organization known for helping millions around the world, particularly in developing countries hit hard by natural disasters. It has assisted in hurricanes, tsunamis, and floods, providing health care services, technology and training. The agency is almost 30 years old.
But the company has struggled, especially in the economy, Loux said.
"We have tried to turn it around and we've sent out a number of appeals," he said. "But because of the West Michigan economy and because of donor fatigue of most organizations trying to raise funds, we've got the perfect storm.
"There have been many, many, things that have happened. And that's what makes it so painful for us. To see that we've had to cease operations."
Earlier this year, then-International Aid CEO Myles Fish resigned, amid a tight budget and an extreme downtown in donations and resources. Two other top jobs were cut to save the organization money.
The agency will continue shipments of medical equipment and supplies in the interim, Loux said. The agency will work with vendors and creditors affected by the shutdown, and notify its corporate and other partners.
Although Loux called the decision a difficult one, one thing is important to note: The people of West Michigan have been very generous over the years, and on behalf of International Aid, Loux says thank you.