A Message from Stephen Reese of St. Louis

It’s All About Perspective.

Steve and Karen Reese at Hôpital Sacré Coeur.

Steve and Karen Reese at Hôpital Sacré Coeur.

All too often people become fixated with an image of Haiti as a place where years of corruption and poverty make it impossible to effect change. That’s not always the case. With the benefit of a little time and a little distance, perspectives can change dramatically.

This spring, my wife, Karen, joined me for her first trip to Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Her reactions were predictable. She was deeply touched by the poverty, the lack of sanitation, a lack of opportunity. But at the same time she felt the tangible joy in the people, their optimism, their faith and their pride in putting on a school uniform that would put our children to shame.

She said “You have been coming down here for 15 years and telling me the stories, showing me the pictures and I thought I got it. But until I actually got down here and experienced this first-hand, there was no way to really know what you were talking about. This is way beyond what pictures can show.”That is one perspective.

As we compared notes, I shared a different perspective. I saw great strides. We flew direct from Miami on American Airlines. The airport terminal has been completely rebuilt. The road from Cap-Haïtien to Milot is now completely paved. Many of the dilapidated shacks that blocked the coast in Cap have been torn down in the first steps towards trying to clean up the town. There is an actual sidewalk on the main street in Milot. And all of this is before we even get to the hospital. In the hospital we have a new emergency room, new out-patient clinic space that dramatically improves capacity and plans for a complete overhaul of the operating suites.

One picture, two perspectives; both correct; both different. So the question becomes “How can we continue to effect change?” The simple and obvious answer is that it takes money. But if we continue to ask for your help, how do you know that we will continue to have the dramatic impact we strive for? Our promise to you is that your donation will always make a difference. CRUDEM is extremely fortunate. One of the biggest arrows in our quiver is that we have the backing of Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ. Holy Name has made a commitment to underwrite all of the operating expenses of the CRUDEM Foundation.

What this means in simple terms is that we can guarantee that 100% of every dollar that you donate goes straight to Haiti and supports our mission. Among a myriad of other uses your donations pay doctors’ and nurses’ salaries, keep oxygen flowing to our patients, run the generators and pay for security 24/7. Your donations make all the difference on a day to day basis in improving the lives of some of the poorest people on this planet.

We are not the same hospital we were ten years ago, five years ago or even two years ago. We continue to evolve into a stronger partner for the Haitian community. We are evolving and together we are making Haiti a better place.

Thank you for your support.

Stephen M. Reese
Treasurer, The CRUDEM Foundation Board of Directors