PLEASE let me know if this is "self promotion" or "soliciting" that is not allowed! (I'm kind of legalese-inept and ignorant.) I don't mean it to be! I am just looking for ideas!!
I am writing to petition for ideas: for prayers, for advice, and maybe for people to contact for donations.
My job at the little hospital on the poor island of Saipan is one that I love, and a very rewarding one, but one I am concerned about. I moved here knowing that things were on shaky ground, and that the funding was minimal.
Now it is non-existent.
On a personal level, my husband and I are doing okay and we have plenty of back-up and emergency plans in place. So no worries about us specifically :)
But I come with news of the hospital. Here, we are out of Pediasure, Whey protein, Ensure, Glucerna, and infant formula such as Similac, Alimentum, and Isomil. These are all staples to the diet of someone severely ill, unable to eat, or in desperate need of the supplemental nutrition. And we cannot help. We have to ask families to buy them on their own, and it is the rare patient here that would have that sort of money. Very few, if any, can afford that for even a few days.
We are running out of regular food, as well. (Any entrepreneurs out there who would help me create a sustainable plan for a hospital garden, selling a local recipe cookbook, etc??)
To try to keep levity to the situation, I jokingly tell my staff, “hey! Look on the bright side! In one week’s time, if this situation isn’t fixed, all we’ll have to serve patients is bread and water – so all but 2 of you can take the day off! I just need one to pour the water, and one to toast the bread!”
We try to laugh about it, but it is serious, and I read it in their eyes: they take their jobs seriously, they care about the patients, and it weighs on them that they cannot provide the healing nutrition these people so desperately need.
The vendors here have been extremely gracious in providing as much free food and supplies as they can, but the debt they should be paid is now taking its toll on them as well, and they have reluctantly had to inform me that they can no longer help until they can get some payment for past items.
So I am asking if there is anyone out there who knows of organizations that may be willing or able to donate some supplies overseas. Or perhaps grants that fill this sort of need.
I know relying on donations is not a sustainable solution – it is merely a band-aid fix to delay whatever may happen next.
But when you are lying on the floor, watching the nutritional life for patients drain away, you will cling to any band-aids – or even dirty wads of discarded cloth – that may be tossed your way.