A Thank You from the Haiti Program

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On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 ,a handful of Notre Dame Haiti Program volunteer alumni were honored on the sideline at the Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh football game, in recognition of the Program's work during the Haitian earthquake relief effort. During the second time-out, the group pictured went out onto the field, representing the over 500 medical professionals who dropped everything, jumped on airplanes and raced to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in order to help save lives. A medical emersion program founded in 2005 by Fr. Tom Streit, C.S.C., Ph.D., and Dr. Emil T. Hofman unknowingly prepared our volunteers for such a tragedy. This token of recognition by the University of Notre Dame for this small group of representatives who made the pilgrimage to campus is also in graditude for the help of so many of these unsung heroes who could not make it to the game, but whose assistance and expertise were nonetheless indispensable. It was wonderful to pause and celebrate our collective accomplishments.

While we continue to mourn the 250,000 souls who were lost during and after the earthquake in Haiti, we celebrate and recognize the many hundreds, even thousands, of lives that were saved, especially in our forgotten home of Leogane. The acts of kindness from those alumni and volunteers who were represented this weekend as well as those who could not be in attendance, truly epitmoize the quote, “to those whom much has been given, much will be expected.” Without the generous sharing of their gifts, it is hard to imagine where our Haitian brothers and sisters might be.

Although our group of representatives had a wonderful time celebrating during this special weekend, they are once more charging forward--setting up the next steps of our medical travel program to Haiti, in conjunction with our Haitian colleagues. We are formulating a team approach with InterVol and World Wide Villages in support of our long time partner Hopital Saint Croix for a system supporting mobile clinics, surgeries and morbidity/hydrocele surgeries to continue our collective work.

So once again, whether you were in Haiti, sent financial support or prayed for us, many, many thanks for those who are part of this ongoing celebration of life!