“Kowonaviris” Care Package is distributed to HAH employees

A light breeze blows every few minutes giving just a brief respite from the heat and humidity of this Sabbath afternoon under the mango tree.  There is a fuel crisis and we had to turn the generator off. The little bit that we have in our tank we are saving for emergency surgeries and intermittent essential activities.  We are in the process of trying to upgrade the hospital electrical system which will include solar and a battery backup that can partially alleviate these issues. Our water system also needs some upgrades to allow for running water during power outages. A cool shower can help a lot when there is no fan or AC. I should not complain because most people around here have none of that. 

Provisions for Kowona Care Packages
Packing the bags

I would like to pass on a huge 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾👏🏼👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 thank you, merci beaucoup, mèsi anpil from all the employees at HAH to those of you who participated in the pandemic care packages.  Just like everywhere times are tough in Haiti, but unlike some places they were tough before all this began and there is no margin for reserve.  Many of our employees had to take unpaid leave due to decreased hospital revenue and patient volume.  In an attempt to ease the strain on our employees and their families, Jonathan Euler had the idea of preparing some care packages. These are not your average Christmas baskets with a few luxury items but rather 50lb bags that include a large quantity of various staple food items.

About 1/3 of the bags
Contents included: rice, several types of beans, grain, corn, pasta, oil, soap, garlic, canned milk, salt and flour

We had a Calimesa church vespers on the lawn a few weeks ago and I was given the opportunity to talk a bit about the exciting things going on at HAH and some of the needs we have.  A few days later our pastor called and said our members had given $5800 for the corona (kowona in Kreyòl) care packs.  This combined with the resources from a few other donors brought us quickly to the $10,000 goal needed to fund this project.

Then came the complicated part.  Jonathan had to turn that into 240  care packages that weighed about 50lbs each.  If you do the math that is 12,000lbs of food.  He did his grocery shopping and was able to talk the store into making a delivery. He was able to divide all the ingredients into beautifully prepared packages.  Distribution was the next step… fortunately our COO Mackenson organized this process.  Many times giving out gifts can get quite complicated around here and sometimes good intentions can create unexpected results.  We heard that certain people may be offended by a gift of rice and beans and others may try to get more of their share.  How were people even going to carry this thing home? Walking up the hill where a lot of our employees live is not easy even with your hands empty. With so many other urgent things to attend to at the hospital I was wondering if it really was a good idea after all.

Distribution took place in the hospital cafeteria
A couple workers on the maintenance and construction team

The results were unexpectedly beautiful.  From the generosity of our church family in California to the amazing gratitude of our employees.  Everyone got one – nurses, doctors, gardeners, cashiers and lab workers. The distribution was well organized and the hospital employees understood that this was a token of appreciation for their hard work. They appreciated the thought and preparation that went in to selecting each and every surprise item.  And most importantly they expressed their gratitude towards those in our global church family who care about them.

Employees expressed their gratitude with beautiful poetic messages and many emojis all week long. In addition many pulled me aside to express their thanks.

2 Comments on ““Kowonaviris” Care Package is distributed to HAH employees

  1. I wondered what the food situation was. I’m glad God provided for the needs of your team as they faithfully serve the Haitians. My LB church supports a school in Haiti that is giving food out similar to the hospital.
    I’m off to spine surgery in Aug.

  2. I’d like to thank Jonathan Euler and his volunteers for their massive organization efforts to put these beautiful packages together for the 240 employee families. Thank you also to Marnie Nelson for organizing the fundraising for these love packages. Amistad International joins Scott in thanking every donor. Amistad was privileged to facilitate your gifts.
    Karen Kotoske Founder/Director

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