In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Rising Temperatures, and a Spate of Donations for God's Littlest Angels

True to their word, my work colleagues have began raising funds and gathering supplies for God's Lightest Angels.

Friday morning: with temperatures on the ward approaching 85 degrees, (yes, I do know I'll have to get used to that!) the nurses and support staff began brain storming. They contacted various hospital departments, supermarket stores and pharmacies.

Before the morning was out, I had received a bag from our hospital pharmacy, filled with antibacterial liquid soap and alcohol hand sanitizer. By the end of the day I had instructions to pick up a box of baby care items from the Boots store in Stirling, and the the task of typing up a request for donations, printing out multiple copies and mailing them had been delegated to our Play Specialist.

Saturday: my manager and some of the nurses blitzed the ward, then presented me with a box containing ambu bags, dozens of nasal cannula and facial masks (for delivering oxygen to infants, children and adults), and Naso-gastric feeding tubes for premies and older children.

Sunday morning: before we began to wilt in the sticky heat (our air conditioning unit only cools the temperature by 1-2 degrees), one of the nursing auxiliaries, who does temp work in the paeds ward, brought in a selection of home-baked cakes and biscuits. She had prepared them the following night with her Mother (after a 12.5 hour shift, no less!) Staff were invited for cake and coffee, in return for a £1 donation. I was then invited to go round the other wards in our unit with the left overs. I am too shy for that, so my colleagues went...all left overs sold!

It was all great PR. One of the Doctors has offered to make a financial donation, and the neonatal nurses will be gathering supplies, and have asked me to send them a list of any items they could purchase for me. As for the nurses I work with, they are not finished yet; so far, another coffee morning and a prize draw have been planned.

What motivation! Even as I thanked people, I apologised that I was playing so little a part in their efforts. Their answer: "You are the one who is giving up 6 months months of your time to volunteer in Haiti! Leave this part to us!"

Well, I think they are amazing, and surely it is a sign that the spirit of God is moving, when people of all faiths open their hearts to children they never met, in a country no-one has visited, and some didn't know existed.

Note: I will be able to use some of the funds that have been raised to purchase prescription items from the hospital pharmacy (at wholesale price). If anyone reading this post knows of any specific meds GLA would benefit from, please let me know.

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