We have sprung into action for Medical Missionaries as can be seen in the stories featured in April’s Newsletter! Many of you have been part of the projects and festivities of the month, especially our first Virtual Dinner, held merrily on April 17th!
April is a month associated with growth and new beginnings: this month started with April Fools Day on the 1st; Easter was celebrated on the 4th; Ramadan began on the 13th. April 22nd was Earth Day with the theme of Restoration and its 50th Anniversary!
We also want to make note of two other April celebrations: National Volunteer Week, April 19 to 23 and the Week of the Young Child, April 10 to 16. Please read on!
Spotlight on Nurses
This month we honor the Nurses who volunteer for Medical Missionaries. Much has been said about their history and tireless work for those in need both here in the U.S. and overseas. Thankfully, many nurses continue their work after leaving hospital or clinic careers by volunteering their professional and competent skills and donating their time and money for others. To learn more about the nurses who have been affiliated over the years with Medical Missionaries, we invite you to watch a sampling of their video stories which can be viewed on our website at medicalmissionaries.org. (Sherry Pace, R.N., Judy Corcoran, N.P., Melanie Ebert, R.N.)
To all the nurses who have been a part of Medical Missionaries for the past 24 years we salute you!
Week of the Young Child
This annual celebration, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, focuses public attention and ignites discussion on the needs of young children and their families.
To honor this milestone in the Medical Missionaries community, Pat Skeens from Grundy, VA. shares the story of young Sage, an energetic four year old.
Sage was born drug dependent as his birth mother was addicted to heroin and other drugs. He spent his first days in a NICU where he was given morphine to slowly wean him from heroin. On his twenty-seventh day Sage was secured by the Department of Social Services and placed in a foster home from where he was eventually adopted. He came close to dying and when he did survive he was expected to have multiple developmental delays. This photo of Sage shows this very vibrant boy today as he is enrolled in Head Start and developing right on target!
This uplifting story supports the research on the importance of early intervention and a supportive family and community. The Rocklick Pantry in Grundy celebrates Sage as their youngest volunteer!
Medical Missionaries supports young children from infancy and their families in programs such as Maternal and Infant Care and Medika Mamba at St. Joseph Clinic in Haiti and also with projects such as the Annual Holiday Gift Drive at the Rocklick Pantry Program in the Grundy area of Virginia and Kentucky.
National Volunteer Week and How You Benefit
Medical Missionaries is very proud to be a 100% volunteer run organization! We celebrate all our volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds and varied age groups; everyone has something to offer! While Medical Missionaries and the people we serve benefit from your contributions we are happy to report that you also benefit. Here’s what the research shows:
- Happiness – People who give to charity are 43% more likely than people who don’t give to say they’re very happy people. Similarly, volunteers were 42% more likely to be very happy than non-volunteers.
- Healthier – Those who volunteer (especially older adults) at least 2 hours a week have:
- Improved physical and mental health
- Greater functional ability
- Lower rates of despair and depression
- Lower death rates
- Richer – Giving makes you richer. A family that gives away $100 more than another family in the same income bracket will predictably earn, on average, $375 more as a result of its generosity.
When people give more money away, they tend to prosper. Givers are happier, healthier, and richer. Thank you to all our volunteers!
Fundraising Committee Notes
Virtual Dinner on Saturday April 17th: Lights, Action, Camera! An excellent and enjoyable evening was spent together with over 80 participants who purchased tickets to our first Virtual Dinner!
Guests came from as far as Montreal, Canada and some viewing parties had up to 10 people! Guests were offered a program of 24 spots that included music from the Mike Morch Band, Dr. Gil Irwin, and very engaging artists from Colorado, New York and Haiti. Interviews and tours gave our guests a very full picture of the range and complexity of Medical Missionaries work both here in the U.S. and globally.
The evening served as a thank you gift to those who support our work and shine a beacon of light on those we serve. We are so thankful that so many of you came “out” with us for dinner!
GroupRaise Manassas: Restaurants Giving Back to Medical Missionaries – We will be partnering with local restaurants. On a selected day, 15-20% of sales will be donated to Medical Missionaries. The Fundraising Committee will soon be announcing the restaurants and dates.
Caring Hearts Online Auction – Coming this Fall 2021! We are now accepting donations of gift cards to be auctioned. We are hoping to extend our reach this year by including national brands such as Dairy Queen, which was one of our most profitable items last Fall.
Supplies and Equipment On the Move
Outgoing Supplies and Equipment
- Follow the Boxes!
- On April 7th, 88 boxes of medical supplies, medicine, hygiene packets, baby supplies and a sewing machine with fabric were packed and labeled according to shipping guidelines. The boxes were driven to Able Transport in Manassas on the first stop of their long journey. They have arrived safely at their second destination Nashville, TN!
- Parish Twinning, a partner organization in Nashville, is arranging transport for the third leg of their trip to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, where they are scheduled to leave on a container ship on May 16.
- We anticipate that they should arrive in early June where they will go through customs in Port-au-Prince. Once cleared, staff from St. Joseph Clinic will be there to pick them up to restock shelves that have been empty for over a year.
- We will keep you posted on the progress of their long journey!
- Many thanks to Dr. George Bazaco, who with two friends, pulled a trailer loaded with 4,000 pounds of food for the Rocklick Pantry in Grundy on 4/17.
- Our partners, Bud and Alice, have been driving up weekly to pack bags of clothing to drive back to their community in West Virginia. They are doing this in their car; they are still in need of a van!
- A number of wheelchairs were donated to local patients as well as to someone in need in Venezuela.
- United 2 Heal picked up a number of walkers and hospital gowns which are bound for Iraq. United 2 Heal is an undergraduate-run nonprofit humanitarian organization at the University of Michigan that works to tackle global health disparities by strategically collecting, sorting, and shipping medical supplies to regions in need. They work in partnership with World Medical Relief.
- Diapers and wipes were provided to a local nurse for a quadrapedic person we have been supporting in the community (see photo below).
Incoming Supplies and Equipment
- House of Mercy donated 150 boxes of non perishable food, ie; rice, peanut butter, jelly, noodles, beans, etc. which were included in the April trip to the Rocklick Pantry.
- Capital Caring donated a large supply of diapers and other needed items.
- St. Luke’s Free Clinic, Front Royal, arrived in a bus that the agency uses to transport senior citizens with a full load of medical supplies.
- ECHO (Ecumenical Community Helping Others) brought many valuable medical supplies for their monthly visit.
Our former Global Health Fellow, Logan Shultz, is currently in Haiti and created a very poignant video tour of St. Joseph Clinic for our Virtual Dinner. He takes us on a walk through the paths, buildings and most of all, introduces us to the people who visit the Clinic everyday. We invite you to take the tour with Logan and the Haitians he meets along the way. You will feel very much a part of the community! The video will be posted on our website.
This past month we distributed Haitian-Creole copies of “Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook” to St. Joseph Clinic’s Community Health Workers, Director of Nutrition, and Chief Physician, Dr. Lawrence. This manual provides information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases, with special attention focused on nutrition, diagnostic techniques, and infection and disease prevention. This handbook will help guide their continued education sessions and serve as a resource for our Community Health Workers to use when working at their remote health posts.
The Medika Mamba program continues to increase its number of new clients. Medika Mamba is a ready-to-use therapeutic food which is designed to provide nutrition to acutely malnourished children infant through age 6 months. The staff reports that up to 85 children are benefitting from the nutritious food provided by this program.
The Clinic staff anxiously awaits news of the 88 boxes of supplies on its way from Manassas to Thomassique. They have been exploring other ways of getting supplies into the country as well.
Urgent Request – Van
We are still in need of a donation of a commercial van. The van will be used by our partners Bud (shown below in front of his car) and Alice to transport much needed clothing and supplies to the hamlet villages in their community in West Virginia. If anyone can help with this urgent request please call Dr. Irwin at 703-335-1800. You will be given a tax receipt for your records.