Communities come in many shapes and sizes.
Little did I know that when we started to organize an art sale to raise funds to support the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit that we would be embraced by a wonderful and caring community of artists, and art lovers, in Reston, Virginia. The folks at the Reston Art Gallery (RAG) were just incredible. They gave us their prime gallery space for two days for the show, went out of their way to help us stage the show, to manage the day-to-day, and again when the show ended and we broke it down. One of the RAG team even volunteered to take on the task of removing the nails, spackling the holes we had made, and touching up the wall paint. And they bought art as well. I’m not sure that they really needed it but they wanted to help the kids who will be cared for in the PICU. They cared. They opened their hearts. And they acted. That’s what community is all about.
And now I hope we can build upon their kindness and generosity.
We have so far raised an additional $6,500 for the PICU and that will be added to the $10,000 we already sent to NKFMH in Thimi to procure the beds. But there’s so much more to do.
Nepal is still at 1000 new COVID cases a day and deaths are probably greater — perhaps much greater — than the 10,000+ in the official figures. That’s still more than the total deaths in the 2015 quakes, however, and the number keeps rising every day. The government, worried about a third and a fourth wave and particularly about the growing risks to children, told hospitals to reserve 20% of their beds for kids who they fear will suffer most in the weeks ahead.
But kids aren’t just small adults. They need specialized equipment designed for kids, not for adults.
We need specialized pediatric beds (which we have already helped to fund) and specialized ventilators, We need pediatric masks, we need a Color Doppler Ultrasonography with Convex Probe, Linear Probe & Pediatric Cardiac Probe and a 3 Port Trolley Printer. (The ultrasonography alone costs in excess of $20K).
We need an additional PCR machine ($15k) and infant warmers ($3000 each and we need four). We need a high flow nasal cannula and a bubble CPAP machine. And there’s more.
There’s so much that we need. But without your help we won’t be able to supply them. We’re dedicating the month of September to try and raise at least another $35,000. Yes, it's a lot for a small non-profit. We don't have a board with deep pockets or rainmakers who can solicit five or six-figure donations with a call or two. But we've seen the power of community. We know what we can do when those who care give what they can, and are united in commitment to a cause.
So yes. We'll keep trying even though it may seem we’re reaching for the sky. Because it matters. And because we believe. We believe in the power of community and we believe in you.
You’ve seen the impact of our recent work. You’ve seen us feeding the hungry. Offering livelihoods training to those who are desperately seeking the means to help their families. You've seen us send oxygen concentrators and help fund isolation wards. You've seen us send 60,000 KN-95 masks to keep folks safe and you've seen us launch programs to keep kids safe and in school before sheer desperation forces them into early marriage or into child labor because there are no choices left.
You have made all this possible. You are making a difference. And we are unceasing in our efforts to ensure that your donations are touching lives. Now we ask again, help us to save the lives of children. A PICU will save lives today, and tomorrow and next month, and next year. We are creating a capacity that will endure. Give what your can, but please, give.