February brought unpredictable weather as predicted on Groundhog Day, a month-long celebration of Black History Month and much love from our community in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. We were shocked by the sad news of the premature passing of Dr. Paul Farmer, a tireless champion for equity in global healthcare. He co-founded Partners in Health whom we work with in Haiti. His passing is a profound loss for the global health movement. Our hearts are also with the people of the Ukraine in their struggle to defend their country.
Volunteer Spotlight: John Dominicis
John Dominicis (JD) began his affiliation with Medical Missionaries in 2005. As an adult leader of Boy Scout Troop 1371, he and his son arranged the first annual yard sale for the troop. After the sale, (and each one since) he brought the unsold durable medical equipment to the Manassas office. His wife Gail, a hospice nurse, recovered unused medical supplies which JD made sure came to our door. His new found love of estate auctions has led to frequent donations of bedding, kitchenware, flatware and, of course, medical equipment.
JD shuttles donated material around Northern Virginia and drives trailer loads of food to Roanoke, VA to meet the Rocklick team. On short notice earlier this month, JD took his truck and trailer 750 miles each way to deliver 6,000 pounds of relief supplies collected by Medical Missionaries, from our amazing donors, to tornado victims in Kentucky (see story below). JD is a familiar face at the office and we are thankful for his skill, willingness and flexibility to engage in Medical Missionaries projects.
St. Joseph Clinic, Haiti Update
Dr. Lawrence, St Joseph Clinic chief physician, is exploring ways to get supplies into Haiti, especially medications. He reported that St. Joseph Clinic has welcomed two new Social Doctors, Dr. Jeudi and Dr. Datus who recently graduated from UFIFA University in Haiti.
Social Doctors are doctors who have completed six years of medical school and now need to complete the seventh year as an internship in one of the country’s medical centers. This practice was halted during the pandemic so the Clinic staff is happy to welcome additional support to their team.
Many Thanks to Our Community Near and Far!
Thank you to Nick DiStasio and Emily Buck who reside in North Carolina for giving generously of their time and French talents in translating mail from our partners in Haiti and West Africa. As they say in Haitian, Mesi (thank you)!
Big thanks to Medical Missionaries💕
We received a thank you letter from one of our community partners who received an oxygenator for a family member. She reported that her sister was able to leave her home and go visit her daughter and granddaughter over the Presidents holiday weekend, thanks to her portable oxygenator. 👍🏼
Seton High Dance Fundraiser
Seton High School in Manassas, VA held a Dance Fundraiser to raise money for St. Joseph Clinic’s Mother and Infant Care Program in Haiti. Thank you to our Seton family for your support!
Manassas Rotary Meeting
Thank you to the Manassas Rotary for welcoming Dr. Irwin, Christine DiStasio, and Patti Tutalo to their meeting and giving us the opportunity to speak about the mission of Medical Missionaries
Trip to Kentucky With Tornado Relief Supplies
Medical Missionaries donors and supporters donated 6,000 pounds of supplies to help those affected by the Kentucky tornadoes in January. To transport the items, Dr Irwin, Medical Missionaries President, reached out to John Dominicis (JD) and asked if JD was willing to use his truck and brand new 18 foot cargo trailer. JD came through and after loading seven pallets and a mountain of supplies, he was on his way.
To make things interesting, after JD took off we were advised of a massive ice storm forecast for that week. Instead of stopping mid-way, JD drove all the way through and delivered the supplies. The facility had just distributed 10+ pallets of supplies earlier in the week – our relief got there just in time to fill that empty space!
The facility and the local community outside Ft. Campbell, KY showed clear evidence of the tornado damage. Large windows were boarded up, street signs were bent over, and many mobile homes showed dramatic, catastrophic damage.
Fearing getting trapped in the forecast storm himself, JD headed back straight away and arrived safely home, having covered the 1,500 miles in 48 hours!
We are all thankful to JD for his effort, and to all our many generous donors who donated to help those affected by the deadly storms.
Super Bowl Squares:
Thank you to all who participated in our football squares fundraiser. Medical Missionaries received $1250!
For those sports fans – Christine DiStasio and Patti Tutalo are hosting another fundraiser to benefit Medical Missionaries.
- All brackets will be completed online through CBS Sports
- After Selection Sunday (March 13), you will have the opportunity to create your brackets. They need to be completed prior to tipoff of the first game on March 15.
- $25 per bracket (maximum purchase is 5 brackets) – 50% of proceeds will be donated to Medical Missionaries and the other 50% will be split between first, second, and third place winners.
- Entry fees will be collected by Christine DiStasio. Submit payment via:
- Venmo: @Christine-MadaioDiStasio
- Zelle: 917-696-6480
- Check: Made out to Christine DiStasio and dropped off or mailed to 9590 Survey Ct. Manassas, VA 20110.
Spring Online Auction
Our Spring Caring Hearts Online Auction will launch on Friday, May 13 and end on Sunday, May 29. We would appreciate donations of gift cards and new gifts to post as auction items.
Supplies and Equipment On the Move
It was a busy month receiving supplies and donations. Thank you to all those that contributed.
Capital Caring: Medical supplies
Loudon Free Clinic: Medical supplies and adult diapers
Echo: Medical supplies and hygiene products and food
Pastor Bush: Clothing and household items
Reese Brothers, Maryland: School and gym uniforms
St. Luke’s Free Clinic, Front Royal: Medical supplies
Food Rescue: Pallets of food to be shared with the community
Ashby Ponds MAD: Medical equipment and supplies
Rugs Made From Plastic Bags. A group of talented women from St. Agnes Parish in Irwin, Pennsylvania donated handmade rugs! They are crocheted out of plastic shopping bags. They are not only useful but keep plastic out of the landfills. Medical Missionaries distributed them to the people in Africa, Haiti and the U.S. They will be donating another 20 rugs this month.
Great news! Medical supplies and equipment that were sent from Medical Missionaries in coordination with Nativity Parish are on the way to Haiti!
Over the counter medications were packed and sent to doctors in California who work with refugees coming through the Mexico border
Grundy: A load of food for Rocklick Pantry via pickup in Roanoke VA
Jamaica: Summer clothing, adult diapers, cleaning supplies, hygiene products