As we reflect on 2020, we find ourselves grateful for the outpouring of support in the form of donations and volunteers. This was a difficult year, ranging from working through the complications of a global pandemic to a fire at St. Joseph Clinic. We are grateful that we have been able to continue operations and also continue to make a difference in so many lives. We have endured these tough times and that is truly a tribute to all our dedicated volunteers and contributors. We couldn’t have done it without you and your unwavering support! We hope you and your loved ones enjoy the Holidays!
Volunteer Spotlight: Janelle Miller
A life-long Oklahoman, Janelle Miller is 70 years young and five years into retirement from a 40-year career in the energy industry. Since retiring, Janelle is spending her free time volunteering and with her hobbies, including reading adventure and mystery novels, gardening and crafts. In past years, she has been a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Travelers Aid Society and Salvation Army food bank. Last year, she joined a gardening club which maintains a small public botanical garden, and she has also assisted in a fossil prep lab at a natural history museum. In 2019, she also began the hand crocheted newborn baby cap project with Medical Missionaries. After discovering Medical Missionaries via a web search, she has become active. She now mails a monthly package of a dozen crocheted caps with retail made socks for a current total of 214 sets.
Janelle considers volunteering to be rewarding and fulfilling. Her favorite Bible passage is 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Stafford Lions Club
Taylor and Sharon Gaylord from the generous Stafford Lions Club dropped off a second carload of toys and food for the holiday drive in Grundy, Va. The Club would like to make Medical Missionaries their special project. They will continue to collect food along with clothes and hygiene products to support our many projects. We are so grateful for their thoughtful assistance especially at this time of the year.
Herndon Women’s Group
Diane Stanley from the Herndon Women’s Group facilitated a food collection with the help of her family, Todd and Tracey. Martha and Dolores from The Red Hat Society also supported this effort. This special group of people spent hours collecting, sorting, packing and labeling the donations. The donated food was collected from the areas of Reston, Herndon, and Sterling. They also used “Link” to help in this endeavor.
One of the volunteers shared a very poignant story of growing up in the 1940s when her dad was very ill for five years while he remained in what was formerly called a sanitorium. She shared that during that very difficult time her family relied on the kindness of strangers in helping to feed her family. This is why she is so happy to do this work now, thinking of the past and moving it forward, she told us.
The grandson of Dr. Irwin, Justin Davison, and three of his fellow Eagle Scouts recently completed a very needed project for Medical Missionaries. They designed, measured and built a waterproof cover for the pick-up truck that is the drop-off point for donations when the office is closed. The Scouts are proud of their successful project, as you can see from this photo! Many times we have had to discard donations that have gotten wet, so this cover will make a big difference in being able to use all the donations we receive.
Grundy, Va. Toy and Food Delivery
On December 7 our team from Manassas began their lengthy trip to the Grundy area driving a truck loaded the day before by our volunteers. The cargo was very precious: our third shipment of toys for the Annual Holiday Toy Drive and plenty of food for the pantry, including a lot of goodies for the community’s holiday meals at Christmas. The two teams met at an agreeable spot and transferred the donations which were then delivered to the pantry shed.
It’s always a joyful event when two volunteer teams come together for a common cause. The people of Appalachia who receive our assistance will get to enjoy a lovely holiday meal with some nice presents under their trees, thanks for all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.
St. Joseph Clinic
The staff has been spending time sprucing up the staff house by painting, installing new floor tiles, and keeping up with the grounds. They also got a new delivery table for the maternity ward. These improvements seem like small successes, but they go a long way in making staff and the clients feel safe and comfortable when they are at the Clinic. We are proud of all the staff does to keep the Clinic looking great!
We recently provided much-needed assistance to a local quadriplegic person by giving him an electric wheelchair and other medical supplies and equipment. Donations continue to pour in and he is putting them all to good use. Many of our donors tell us how much they appreciate being able to donate to such meaningful and needed projects that Medical Missionaries supports, both in the community and overseas.
West Virginia – Although the snow and mechanical problems delayed the trip, Bud and Alice were able to get a shipment of food and supplies to West Virginia in time for the holidays
A Look Ahead
We are now collecting supplies and equipment for future containers to ship to West Africa. The next container is tentatively scheduled to be shipped in late January 2021.
As we prepare to greet 2021, we are hopeful that it will bring relief from the pandemic, with businesses and schools going back to normal schedules and people rediscovering stability and growth in their lives and that of their families. Hopefully 2021 will come in like a breath of fresh air and blow strong and safe winds to everyone.
Medical Missionaries makes every cent count for every dollar donated. We intend to continue that commitment because we know that is what our donors expect from us. Your support – whether it come in the form of financial contributions, volunteering time or donations of needed goods – goes a very long way to helping the poor. As we look to the new year, we wish you all health and much happiness. From our hearts to yours, Thank you!