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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Isn’t it odd that while in Haiti, in the midst of all the chaos and very long days, Carol and I had “more time” to post to blogs than we now seem to find time for back home in Baltimore?

I want to share with you what Carol and I have been doing since our last blog posts that came more frequently- not as some kind of lame excuse for not blogging more. However, I think our schedule has been a testament to the unwavering focus and outpouring of compassion that continues as strong as it ever was, just after the Haitian earthquake.

Perhaps in reading over the many varied groups that ask us to meet and talk with them about Haiti, you’ll come across an area where you or someone you know may want to get involved.

January 19th-24th: Tom was supposed to be in Port au Prince for a conference of groups interested in stoves and alternative fuels. Had he been there one week earlier, he would have been at the Hotel Montana - and dead.

January 25th: Returned from Haiti.

January 31st: Bruce Winand’s funeral. Bruce was a local Towson hero who ran most of the Towson Recreation Council sports programs. He coached or managed leagues for all three of our children. He died suddenly of a heart attack at age 51, and is an almost irreplaceable member of the Towson community.

February 2nd: Nadia gives birth to Gaeten Thomas at GBMC in the middle of Snowmaggedon.

February 4th: Ignite talk. Five minutes of discussion of a subject during a slideshow that advances automatically. When five minutes is done, you are done. See “Talk about Stoves” on this blog on February 4th.

February 5th: Nadia and Carol gave a press conference at GBMC. Nadia says all the right things like such as “GBMC cares more about people than money”.

February 6th: Real Simple Magazine fights their way thru Snowmaggedon to do a photo shoot of Carol and Nadia for the March issue.

February 11th: Baltimore Acts benefit concert at Meyerhoff gets cancelled on account of Snowmaggedon. Carol and I are actually somewhat relieved that we do not have to speak publicly so soon after our return.

February 14th: Shower for Nadia and Gaetan.

February 16th: Mia Farrow’s “people called our people” to see if we wanted to have dinner with her, accompanied by John Waters. An interesting dinner conversation ensued with John Waters wanting to talk Hollywood, while Mia Farrow wanted to talk to us about our work in Haiti and her work in Darfur – a very unforgettable evening.

February 20th - March 6th: Carol and Sarah in Thailand.

February 23rd: Tom spoke at the Baltimore County Dental Meeting about Haiti and the work with the Haitian dental school.

February 25th- 27th: Brought Samuel Prophet, the Dean of the Haitian Dental School to Chicago to meet with dentistry’s movers and shakers, such as the ADA, Sullivan Schein and the global outreach heads of several dental manufacturers. The Dean was able to deliver a speech to the ADA. Many promises of aid made - we will see.

March 5th: Met with Mrs. Needles and her middle school class at GBMC to sort medical supplies, and had the crutches they collected shipped to Haiti by Med Share.

March 6th: Carol returned from Thailand and was appointed as VP of MedChi.

March 11th: Met with dental students at UMD interested in helping the Haitian dental school.

March 28th: Spoke at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer (these are the people who continue to support the work we participated in for many years in Honduras).

That same day, Nadia spoke at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, where the Reverend Heber Brown, III has committed his churches’ social activism to Haiti for the whole next year. What an inspiration Reverend Brown is. Visit his website at

March 30th: Memorial Service for another great man – Sean, a scrub tech at Hopkins. We were working with Sean to bring Med Share to Hopkins, and whom just the night before his untimely death at age 32, invited us to work with his surgical team in Ghana.

April 11th: Had a meeting with Dave, past CFRE Vice President of Development and Marketing for Med Share, to discuss bringing about a Med Share sorting, shipping, and receiving warehouse to Baltimore.

April 18th: Patricia Arquette’s “people called our people” to ask if we would like to have breakfast at her hotel in DC where she is filming her show “The Medium”. Carol and I discussed Haiti and kids.

April 30th: Dental Access Day at the University of Maryland. My assistant Karen and our intern Nicole spent the day providing free dental work for Baltimore’s citizens in need.

May12th: Baltimore Acts Fundraiser for Haiti, at Nick’s Fish House. These were the folks who tried to pull off a large concert fundraiser soon after the quake but had to cancel due to the snowstorms.

May 16th: Spoke at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton. This church was a huge supporter of IMA and Med Share after the quake and continues to raise money.

May 14th-16th: Eric stars in the musical “Curtains” and it’s a smash hit. He is a smash hit, of course.

June 13th: Mount Washington Yoga holds an open house and donates 10% of sales to IMA.

The following June 9th trip was canceled due to the death of my mother Nancy Ritter . On June 13th Carol and I wheeled my mom's hospital bed outside at the hospice center in Wisconsin and 30 minutes later she simple flew away. So ended a life that provided so much love to so many. She was buried on Thursday June 17th

June 9th-14th: Carol and Tom and RN Mandy head back to Haiti to do some GYN surgery. While there, we visit with Nadia and Gaetan Thomas. We also brought much needed supplies to the dental school and clinics in Port Au Prince.