Inspired

I, like most people I know (and most I imagine), have been riveted by the terrible situation in Haiti and cheered by the few bright spots amid the suffering.

Here in the ‘Burgh, we were especially drawn to the rescue of 54 orphans from the BRESMA orphanage run by two local sisters, Jamie and Ali McMutrie, largely orchestrated through a grassroots effort that began with a fellow local blogger, Virginia Montanez of That’s Church. (Although calling her a fellow blogger is more than a little literary license — a bit like calling Martha Stewart a “fellow gardener.”)

I dreamt of Haitian orphans last night. I see them and want to start adoption proceedings immediately. But instead, I, like most people I know (and most I imagine) made a small donation and prayed both for those suffering and those trying to help. I’m privileged to know one such helping organization, Global Links, personally.

Pittsburgh-based Global Links has been working with Hôpital Albert Schweitzer staff as well as local physicians deploying with disaster relief agencies to procure donations of needed medical materials, medicines, and equipment. In addition to providing donations from its own inventory, Global Links is fielding and directing solicitations to UPMC and its network of vendors.

Global Links also provided local first-responder physicians who secured transportation to Haiti  with key medical materials to hand-carry on their flights, including sutures, bandages, surgical instruments, gloves, casting materials, and more. Items most commonly needed by all medical personnel working in Haiti now range from sutures and crutches to antibiotics and bandages to surgical instrumentation, X-ray film and more. Global Links has been directing the collection, preparation, packing, and shipping of these supplies.

Even more, Global Links has been and will be working in Haiti for years to come as this poor, poor nation and people strive to recover.

The selflessness of individuals like the McMutries, the efforts of humanitarian organizations like Global Links, and the tremendous skill and commitment of our own military men and women have been so inspiring to see. They make what I do every day or any little triviality I may write about fade away in comparison. So for now, I’ll just pass along a bit of their stories — they deserve all the telling and all the credit we can give. And while you have a minute, please say a quick prayer for Haiti’s people — they, too, deserve all the help we can give.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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