Our Wonderful Volunteers!

Wonderful-1By Sister Ann Crawley, CSJP

Just had to write and tell you: This past week (January 19-24, 2014) we have the very wonderful Eye Team led by Dr. Peter Kelly of Massachusetts on campus. Dr. Kelly and his medical team have been coming for many, many years and they literally work miracles restoring vision and hope to hundreds of people suffering from glaucoma and cataracts, as well as various other eye problems. Big crowds have come from all over Haiti seeking the team’s care. It’s just wonderful to see so many happy patients return home relieved of pain and distress and with restored vision. It is so inspiring to witness these miracles of healing.

Last week, we had the VOSH Team. VOSH International facilitates the provisioning and the sustainability of vision care worldwide for people who can neither afford nor obtain such care. This team from Pennsylvania has seen to hundreds of patients from all over Haiti. They also lined up those people needing eye surgery which is taking place in the hospital this week by Dr. Kelly’s miraculous team.

In addition, we also have a team of hard working, delightful and generous men from Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey assembling fiber optic cables underground and doing all kinds of electrical and engineering work in relation to our new (and badly needed!) outpatient clinic building.

Wonderful-3In the evening, when the sun goes down, many volunteers love to join me on treks up the mountains and elsewhere visiting the sick, the paralyzed and the blind. The volunteers love these treks and to hear the stories of love, sacrifice and heroic courage the people demonstrate in helping each other “get by another day”. The very special gift bestowed on the Haitian people is one of “sharing”. They are most generous and love to share the little they have with their less fortunate neighbors. They cannot eat without sharing the last morsel of food, even if it means going without food for two or three days! What tremendous love.

Poverty and hunger is widespread in Haiti and most people go days without food, which is so very sad and heart breaking in a world of plenty. Our volunteers are wonderful and most interested to learn about our housing projects and the local people’s involvement in same. Every man, woman and child contributes to building the new houses by carrying buckets of water, sand and stone to the building site and helping dig out the foundation.

After giving up their time (often vacation time) with their families, paying for their flights and lodging and putting in 10 hours a day or more at the hospital, our wonderful volunteers still find the energy to walk through the town, meet the people, and learn as much as they can about the local Haitians and the challenging and desperate circumstances of their lives. And, not only do these wonderful volunteers learn about a new cultural and lifestyles so very different than their own, each and every one of them reach out to the Haitians with open, compassionate hearts and the sharing of their own resources.

God bless them all!