A Day on the Dock

A day on the dock at Vine’s warehouse in Guatemala is an extraordinary experience.  Watch visitors come and go for a day and you’d wonder what any of them had in common: the blue-eyed woman in the jungle-ready van; the indigenous guys in the four wheel drive delivery truck. Two men barely make it through the front gate in a wheezing old sedan, and a husband and wife team roll up in a nice SUV. You’d be tempted to make some assumptions based on what they’re driving and what they’re doing, but the man loading medicine into the pickup is a CEO, the woman stuffing the battered car with gauze and vitamins is an MD, and neither one will hold on to what they’re collecting. They’re picking it up to give it away.

Vine serves more than a hundred and twenty organizations across the country, and many of them drive to the warehouse for their supplies. What they have in common is what brings them to Vine: they’re serving people who are in desperate need. Some of theirpatients can’t pay (orphans, people with severe disabilities, and remote communities aren’t able to buy much of anything), so our ministry partners offer what they have: their lives, and your supplies. Many communities can only afford fees that are important but symbolic, and they don’t cover the costs of service or supplies. In those cases, our ministry partners offer what they have: their lives, and your supplies.

One doctor looked around the warehouse at the wheelchairs, wound care, antibiotics and vitamins available to him through Vine. “We’re there in the communities,” he said, “but without these supplies, what can we really do?”

 Antonio “Tono” Delgado, Administrator for the Buen Samaritano Hospital in Chichicastenango. Because of you, Vine has delivered medicine and machines to help Tono’s staff and volunteers take care of an underserved population.

Antonio “Tono” Delgado, Administrator for the Buen Samaritano Hospital in Chichicastenango. Because of you, Vine has delivered medicine and machines to help Tono’s staff and volunteers take care of an underserved population.

Vine isn’t the source of any of this aid, and we’re not the end user. We call it Vine, not Root or Produce. We think it’s an expression of God’s love for people in need, and God lets us be a part of it. We know how to multiply what’s given to us, and how to get it to people who can use it best, but none of it happens without people like you, who give in the first place. Part of the beauty of how Vine works is that you may never meet the ones who use these supplies, but you can still be involved in each others’ lives. I get to meet some of them, the ones doing frontier medicine in the forgotten corners of Central America, and here’s what they say when they pick up supplies: Thank you. They say, send us the material, and we’ll use it here in the lives of people who would stay sick without it. You couldn’t do this without them, and they couldn’t do it without you.

I don’t know of a better way to give: A $1000 gift to Vine sends medical supplies worth $50,000 to the people who need it most. There will be a day on the dock when they’ll show up - doctors and dentists, nurses and nuns - and once they’ve gotten what they need, they’ll drive away with a smile, thinking of the patients they’re about to go help. That’s a story I want to be part of. Give to Vine, and you’re in the story too.

-Brady

Thanks!

Here is a note we received from Maureen Casey, founder of Los Gozosos home for special needs children in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Maureen takes care of kids who, in some cases, no one else can or will care for. It’s incredibly difficult work, and she’s been doing it for decades. She sent this note to us, but it’s really for you who support Vine.

Maria

This is [“Maria”].  She was left on the street at a couple days old by her family because she suffers from Epileptic seizures. Her birth certificate has a long line of numbers in place of her name and the address of the storefront where she was abandoned. After a month in the hospital she was sent to an orphanage that has lots of babies in line for adoption.

After almost two years there, she came to us dying from severe acute malnutrition, advanced pneumonia, and with extensive brain damage because they had never kept her seizures under control.

She spent less than two days in our home before we admitted her to the public hospital.  She has been there, on and off the ventilator five times for the last four months.  YOUR medical supplies have saved her life and many others:

-You gave us pediatric tubes for the ventilator that allowed this underfunded public hospital to replace their contaminated lines.

-Then you gave us some super antibiotics in IV solutions [which we passed on to hospital staff], right when our Maria had a super resistant hospital infection. We do not know how many lives were saved through that medicine, since the medical staff is not allowed to give me specific information.

-Then you gave us adult ventilator tubes.  I am an eyewitness to the fact that the same pediatric unit has been able to help and heal more older children than ever before.  That is more lives saved because these national hospitals are severely limited by their lack of supplies.  They can only help the patients that they have the equipment to serve.

So thank you a thousand thank yous for all your hard work to serve the medical needs here in Guatemala.

Wiggly Hugs and Sloppy Kisses from all my Special needs kids,

Maureen Casey

Founder/Director Los Gozosos Chimaltenango

We will only add that our while our medical supplies come from partners all over the US and Europe, this time the antibiotics and tubing came from MAP International out of Georgia. The timing was providential, of course - we haven’t had that kind of antibiotics before or since Maria’s need. Our job at Vine is to put vital resources in the hands of the people who need it most - in this case, Maureen, for Maria - and that can only be done together, with you who support Vine. Thank you!