Last Thursday, June 30, Lilliam and I took our morning 2 1/2 mile walk.. I called Tom McCormack to verify that Container 17 had arrived. It was on its way. It had been held up in Colon because there was heavy equipment on the road and it had not been able to leave on schedule.
Still, they drove through the night and it was in David around 8:00 AM, where some 70+ volunteers were ready to help with the unloading.
When I got there the doors had already been open and items were being passed down a line to be placed in the bodega.
There were many gringos, but more Panamanians. Many of the Panamanians were there to say “Thank You” for members of their families who had benefited in the past or would benefit in the future. There were some who had already received one of Tom’s gifts.
Rubi had gone to the port to get it cleared through customs and escort it to the bodega. Rubi is Tom’s trusted assistant who has learned how to fit the arm and leg prosthesis. When Tom is in the US getting more donations, Rubi continues to work with those in need in Chiriqui.
She also keeps track of the inventory of beds and if one is freed up gets it placed with another family. She monitors the wheelchairs and walkers etc. She is a big part of what happens with the containers that Tom delivers.
There Boquete Knitters were well represented. Tom had brought numerous boxes of supplies that this group uses to for the benefit of the community. The shipping charges alone would prevent them from having the supplies they need and Tom is happy to help them.
This time, TVN has spent the previous day interviewing Tom in the office where he fits prosthesis. They also filmed the unloading of the container. Pia was the young lady from TVN who was responsible for the TVN production which will air in December.
If you have never heard of Tom McCormack, you are most likely new to Chiriqui. He has people coming to David from all over Panama and even from Costa Rica and some have visited from Colombia. Word of his prosthesis fittings has gone far and wide. Many have received prosthesis costing tens of thousands of dollars and at no cost to the individual other than a smile and a “Thank You”.
Check out the McCormack Foundation and if you bump into Tom or Rubi, tell them Thank for setting such good examples for the rest of us.