You don't always get to see the impact of what you donate first hand but during this trip I was so lucky to see my dollars and time impact daily. The entire community surrounding this small town in Peru knows doctors are coming in for the medical campaign a few weeks out of the year, many will make a special trip down to the clinic to see if the team can offer any help. Last October I was fortunate to be a part of this crew. There can be an elongated process with the diocese to decide who gets these surgeries and one sweet boy missed that opportunity to meet the doctors and get his facial tumor removed. The nurse, the lady who does all, called me into her office. I heard the story of how this boy and his dad walked 2 hours down the mountain to meet a taxi; to then drive 5 hours just to see what the clinic or campaign can do to help him.
After some quick brainstorming, I got on the internet, navigated some Spanish, and downloaded the First Hand application from the office. I grabbed a translator and sat down with he and his father. When I was trying to explain this document to him, he was quite hesitant as he had no excess money and was nervous filling out any paperwork would require a cost he couldn't afford. After some explaining that this was an application to help in funds for the surgery, I cannot fully describe how much hope overwhelmed his face. I quickly wanted to reiterate this was an application and not guaranteed funds but I would do my best to fill it out and submit it as quickly as possible.
As I read through the questions on the form, that in itself was eye opening as insurance was a very, not applicable section. When I asked how much money they spent on their son last year he bowed his head in shame that is was less than $100 (USD converted) because his wife was expecting their third child and money was very tight that year. I saw in front of me a man willing to do anything to help his family and that was beyond touching and humbling. He explained to me he makes about $3,600 (USD converted) a year as a farmer. I truly cannot begin to fathom the amount of your annual income being the cost of the surgery your son needs and how much you want to help him but don't have the means. The father kept shaking my hand every time I saw him and kept thanking me over and over solely on the hope this application worked.
Within a week of arriving home, I was able to make a case to the decision committee with First Hand for surgery. This was an all or nothing gamble and excited to say this little boy was approved! This surgery meant involvement back into the community for their family, and money earned being able to be spent on basic necessities for the family. This is just one story of the hundreds of thousands that First Hand continues to be able to tell and truly an organization that every amount of donation is used for the best causes for children and their health needs.
Thank you for your consideration!
Review from #MyGivingStory