My wife Penny, our son Arch and our family have been involved in several non-profits through the years, including chairing the Duval County and state of Florida Cancer Crusades and as a founder of Habitat for Humanity at the Jacksonville Beaches as well as many other organizations. We are sensitive to the requirements of people in need.
We have known about CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur due to our close friendship with Dr. John Lovejoy, Jr. and the late Dr. George Fipp. These true humanitarians, and those they enlisted, have devoted decades of their energies and souls to caring for the least, the last, the lost and the (literally) lame of Haiti. They have been at the epicenter (in several meanings of the word) of serving their fellow humans and many in our community have looked up to them.
It was through those men and seeing their work and devotion that we became interested in Hôpital Sacré Coeur.
Lots of adjectives have been used to describe the many who have served: role models, icons and saint are but a few. Our choice would be hero.
So how did we learn of CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur? It was through our CRUDEM heroes. God gives us heroes to be emulated and emulated they have been. There is no such thing as a perfect analogy, but the similarities between CRUDEM heroes and the man in the story that follows comes eerily close to describing CRUDEM history of giving assistance in Haiti.
Long before CRUDEM teams put themselves in harm’s way after the recent major earthquake, there was an all-time favorite baseball player named Roberto Clemente who played from 1955 to 1972. He was National League MVP, All-Star 12 times, batting champion 4 times, and Gold Glove winner 12 times. Clemente finished his career with 3,000 hits. In his off season, Clemente was involved in charity work in his native Puerto Rico and various Latin American countries. On New Year’s Eve 1972, Clemente died in an aviation accident while en route to delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Clemente was no doubt God challenged to fly into danger, while at the very same time, most people were running away from danger. This is one of many similarities we see between Clemente and the CRUDEM heroes.
Finally, there is a theological impetus for us that had a great deal to do with our attraction to CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur. We notice such phrases as “God be with those who are less fortunate” being used. We think it better stated as: “God help us to be with those who are less fortunate.”
In our eyes, CRUDEM and Hôpital Sacré Coeur are promoting and living both of the two Great Commandments: “Love God with all your heart” and the second (which is equal to the first) “Love your neighbor as thy self.” While we know one cannot work one’s self to heaven, the Scriptures also state that faith without works is dead. CRUDEM embodies the essence of selfless service to those people in need.