Reflections #5

I’ve been delaying my last post a little bit in order to see just the impact of my work play out a little bit. I checked in with my supervisors and touched base with some of the external organizations I had networked with to see how the program was working sans me.

I discovered that my organization held an open-house for healthcare professionals in the area to come check out the durable medical equipment loan program. The staff taking care of the project have been diligently working to provide top notch care and resources to the people in need.

I thought so far the program I built from the ground up was successful, but then this morning I had probably the biggest news from the program.

I was on Facebook when I got a notification from one of the organizations we had partnered with, a nonprofit that takes medical equipment and supplies to Tanzania. There was a video of a young boy, about 8 or 9 years old, dragging his lower body on the ground, using only his hands. He had a flip flop on one of his hands to keep rocks from hurting his palms. My organization had partnered with this organization, and we worked to fill a 40 foot shipping container with needed items. I sorted repaired and tracked down missing pieces of equipment and collected supplies for this container. We donated wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, bandages, catheter equipment, sanitizing sprays, and much more. In the video, I learned that this young boy lived in the village that received our shipping container, and one of the wheelchairs from my organization in Kalispell, Montana is going right to him.

This summer spoiled me with seeing my first mountains, climbing 8. Over 500 miles hiked in Flathead National Forest, Mission Mountains Wilderness, and, of course, Glacier National Park. But while I was lucky enough to be experiencing all of these new things, I was also given the opportunity to make a tangible, measurable difference in the lives of 1,000s of Montanans, and even an unknown amount of people in Tanzania.

What an experience. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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