Tom Overcame All Obstacles

Back in October of 2009, I posted that I needed to make everyone aware that Tom McCormack had two containers coming to David and he needed some volunteers to help unload it.

Here we are ONE year later. Tom has finally broken through all of the hurdles that the Panamanian government, businesses and individuals (wanting to get their hand greased) placed in front of him and the containers have been delivered to David.

It continues to boggle my mind that a country like Panama would not be rolling out the red carper to individuals like Tom, that are spending their own money to aid the less fortunate. Instead they seem to do everything in their power to make it as difficult as possible. I tip my hat to Tom, He is a better man than I am. I would have given up long before now.

Well, that is behind us. Lets focus on the present and give some recognition to what has been brought to Chiriquí and you will see how many are going to benefit from it.

The Alcalde of David (Fransisco Vigil) provided Tom a gymnasium to store the items until they can get dispersed. Its photo follows.

Once inside the gymnasium, this is what I saw.

Here are some specific photos of various types of items.


Toilet Chairs.

Ambulance Gurneys.




Against one wall there were all of these boxes to be unpacked. They contain all sorts of things from shoes to closes, to other items.

Here are Onety Murillo and Maria Cabera unpacking the boxes and categorizing the pieces into the type of clothing it is. The plastic bags are items that have already been sorted and each bag has a label of the type of clothing. Nina, mujer, hombre, etc.

Lets give credit the the person who is providing the facility to house the items for distribution.

Here is Tom with one of the first recipients of Tom’s Foundation’s generosity, the Potrerillos ambulance service. This Gurney would cost at least $1,200 here.

I wasn’t there the other day when the items were unloaded from the containers and brought into the gym. My thanks go out to all who were able to help.

Here is a photo of Tom and some of those that helping him with the unpacking and distribution. I apologize if I misspell any of the names. From left to right are Yony, Ruby, Onety, Tom and Maria. Ruby has the responsibility of tracking who gets what and helping to verify that there is a legitimate need.

Here is a photo of Tom and a Police official that is helping to plan the distribution.

Here is a photo of Tom with some examples of the breast prosthesis that will be provided to women that have suffered breast cancer surgery. These run about $300 for a set.

My original title for this piece was going to be “Greed, Stupidity, and Ineffectiveness”. I am still not sure that it isn’t a better title considering the hurdles and roadblocks that Tom went through getting these two containers delivered.

Tom is now scrambling against time to get the items you have seen distributed because on November 2 another container will arrive in Colon. I hope that greed, stupidity, and ineffectiveness don’t raise their ugly heads and cause another year delay.

That reminds me. In the previous shipments, Tom had several cases of canned milk for newborns. It all had to be thrown out because the expiration date came and went before it could be delivered. Maybe I should have included the word “waste” along with greed, stupidity and ineffectiveness.

25 thoughts on “Tom Overcame All Obstacles

  1. Don Ray:
    I am at awe to see what can be achieved when there is a will. Easy, there is close to $500 000 in equipment there. Thanks to Tom and those in America that helped.

  2. Did Tom get any help at all from the U.S. Embassy/USAID in getting this stuff through customs/corruption barriers?

  3. Sorry to say in reply to Tambopaxi.Zero They have their own agendas,and can’t be bothered with little projects.This was Container #4 and 5 with #6 due on Nov 2

  4. Congratulations Tom on your project and also having the tenacity to keep pushing forward when road blocks were continuously put up in your way.

  5. Thank you Ron,The road blocks cost me an extra $14.000.00.Money I could have spent helping other people here.Not to mention pain and grief.Anyone with half a brain would have thrown in the towel.

  6. Why not name some or all of those who obstructed the initiative with their greed and stupidity? Who caused the road blocks and how where they motivated?

  7. Tom, good job hangin’ in there and not giving up. I know the Lord will bless you for your efforts well over and beyond the $14,000 extra you had to cough up.

  8. Tom,
    What a tremendous job!! Please sign us up for Nov 2nd or whenever it comes in. We would love to help you any way we can.

    Larry/Vicki Scher

  9. Tom, it is so good to see the postings and realize that due to you efforts the items are getting to those that need them. Kudos to you and those helping.

  10. I will recant the whole story to DonRay some day soon and if he decides he wants to talk about grief, that will be his decision.If someone wants to meet me some evening in my(office) restaurant El Fogon I can explain.I would rather talk about the future as that is water that has past the bridge.Also thanks for the nice comments.That’s my pay.

  11. Thanks Tom for helping out my native home town, I grew up there ’til I was 10 (before moving to Montreal Canada)

    The day the I’ll achive my goals, I’ll hope to share it with my community aswell.
    God Bless.

  12. Es muy lindo ayudar a los demás, verlos sonreír y saber que somos útiles para los demás felicidades Tom eres un CHIRICANO HONORARIO y cuenta conmigo siempre que tenga fuerzas para hacerlo. Y a los demas unance a esta gran labor.

  13. Tom,
    I know it took a lot of patience and persistence for you to accomplish
    what you did and a lot of people will be grateful for your assistance.

    I would be more than willing to help un-load a container when it
    comes in. Just give me notice and I will do my best to be there.

    Again I know the community thanks you for a job well done.

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