That’s right, we are already planning our return to Ile a Vache and have assembled a team of 9 dedicated individuals to help deliver needed healthcare services – once again a core group of team members will be traveling: Kitty, Carey, Chelsea, Melila, Jil & Rusty along with another 2 new members.  I am excited to report I will not be the only pediatrician for this trip – welcome aboard Dr Kelly Henchel!! I will be happy to share some of my senior citizen patients with you. We also welcome a great friend of mine from my days in the Navy – Beaufort South Carolina’s City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, Mike McFee.  Mike has experience on previous mission trips but this will be his first to Haiti and with a medical team…I feel a new pharmacist in the making!!

Plane tickets have been purchased and we are now in the planning phases again.  We will be departing on October 28th, already less than 6 months from now, and with the busy schedules of summer, I am certain the time will pass very quickly.  On our last trip we packed an enormous amount of medical supplies as well as toothbrushes, clothing, shoes, school supplies, toys and much more – after all, with 16 team members, we had 32 checked bags to fill, and fill them we did.  While on the island we learned a bit more from our hostess, “Madamn Big Boss”, about what items we should really be targeting for packing and I will share this information with you all, our supporters, in case you are inclined to assist us in our efforts to bring aid to these deserving people. Here goes:

  • Shoes/Sandals – “Durable footwear only please; Flip flops last less than a week.”
  • Clothes – “Summer clothes only, socks, lightweight dark clothes”
  • Books/School Supplies – “Kreyol or French; dictionaries should be duo language – Kreyol/English or French/English”; “Paper is heavy and preferably purchased locally with donated funds.”
  • Vitamins – “Best if with iron (children’s, adults, prenatals) and definitely not gummies as they get sticky in the heat” – unfortunately these are still not readily available in Haiti; We also ALWAYS need TUMS!! (not for us)
  • Soaps – “Ivory bar soap holds up best in the humidity. Trial/Hotel sizes don’t last and the packaging becomes a landfill/pollution issue.”
  • Glasses – “Clearly labeled reading glasses are good and sunglasses are always needed, but ‘unread’ prescription glasses are best donated to a local Lions Club.”
  • Toys – “Your time and attention is more valuable than the gift of toys. Some cause fighting amongst the kids and often get ruined, adding to the landfill/pollution issue.” With the assistance of our hosts, we will try to determine the most appropriate toys.

As always, we are so very grateful for the generous donations of all items we have received in the past, but as we establish our presence on this small island with literally no infrastructure to handle waste/trash, other than burning, we are becoming ever more conscientious of our environmental footprint. We need to make the smallest impact possible, so will need to limit what we can accept in the future. However, as most of you are already aware, we attempt to purchase as many medications in country as possible and provide funds for patients requiring advanced care at a nearby hospital. This is a costly endeavor and our team members are already shouldering significant costs to volunteer their time, so here is where I make the plea for monetary donations, as that allows us to direct our funds where needs are identified. Please visit the DONATE section above and see how easy it is to help! We remain humbled by the generosity of our supporters and will always respect the sacrifice you make to assist us in our goals.

Finally, on that front, we are making great strides toward our ultimate goal of a permanent clinic on this small island in such need. We will be traveling more frequently to monitor its progress and assure the citizens we are truly committed. We will soon have more details to share on our upcoming fundraising efforts to bring this project to completion. For now, I can share the up-to-date architectural plans for the clinic and the guest house that will house the medical teams, and eventually the permanent on-site doctor. This is a very exciting time for our small non-profit! I know you all will share in our excitement and enthusiasm!

With Love and Sincere Gratitude,

Adam

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