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When MAP Board member Ken Gustavsen’s wife Claudia was looking for a community involvement project for the Kids Mission club she leads at their church, Ken suggested packing Disaster Health Kits (DHKs) for MAP International.
“I knew about the Disaster Health Kits not only from serving on the Board of MAP for six years but from my prior work with a Christian organization,” says Ken. “I also ran a corporate DHK packing event at Merck, where I work, and employees really connected with it.”
Ken’s idea resonated with Claudia and eleven-year-old Nina, Gustavsen’s daughter.
“We thought it was something that the kids might enjoy, and we could talk to them about the people the kits would help,” says Claudia.
The Gustavsens were galvanized into action and word quickly spread at their church. “Pretty soon, we had kids from other clubs in the church volunteering to help us,” says Claudia.
Containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and other personal hygiene items, the DHKs are distributed to individuals and families who have been displaced from their homes or lost everything due to natural disasters or armed conflicts.
“It made me feel good to know we were going to be getting people something they needed,” says Nina. When Nina is older, she would like to go on a mission trip and see for herself the difference efforts like hers make for some of the world’s poorest people.
Fixing a child’s cleft lip or palate…or re-setting broken limbs that never healed properly...
In the United States, these would be considered minor operations, but in the highlands of Guatemala, they are life-altering and simply beyond reach for most people.
So, when an all-volunteer team of 93 healthcare and logistics professionals from the non-profit Health for Humanity (H4H) set up shop at the Obras Sociales del S. Hermano Pedro Hospital in Antigua, Guatemala, it must have seemed like a godsend.
When that team performed more than 350 surgical procedures—everything from fixing cleft palates to complicated orthopedic work to routine urological and gynecological surgeries—there were tears of gratitude.
“MAP’s donation of sutures and endoscopic instruments constitutes an essential component of what H4H needs to provide life-changing surgical service to those in Guatemala with the greatest needs,” says Joe Delvicario, MD, and president of H4H.
The group is already planning their next Guatemala trip in November 2020. “We hope that we will have MAP’s support again,” says Delvicario.
Would you consider a generous gift today to help equip doctors like Dr. Delvicario with the medicine and supplies they need to serve those in need?
We publish a quarterly newsletter informing our supporters of how their gifts change lives one individual story at a time.