I know that yesterday was the first day of the Boquete Jazz and Blues festival. There was a festival of sorts yesterday afternoon in Parque de Cervantes, where no one was singing the blues.
Instead tears of joy were flowing and smiles were showing and words of praise were coming from all directions for the Chiriquí Angel. Literally everyone there was talking about Tom McCormack “un Ángel” that had changed their life.
The purpose of the meeting at the park was to take some photos of the beneficiaries of some of the recent limb prosthesis that Tom had provided. Tom plans to use some of the photos to show past donors and to provide more motivation for them to double their efforts.
Actually Tom did not just provide the prosthesis , because he had to modify each and every one the individual’s needs. You may remember the post I did at the Casa de Jubilados. Continue reading
I just received an email from Tom McCormack. He will head back to the US in about two weeks.
He said that his current counts were 48 legs and 36 hands fitted at the cost to the individuals of $0.00.
When I lived and worked in the Washington D.C area, I remember one of my team members coming in one morning and telling of his previous evening’s trip home from work. If you have ever driven on the beltway in Washington DC, you know what a stressful place that is.
This was his story. He said on his way home his car overheated and died in the middle of traffic. He got out and was trying to push and maneuver his car to the right side of the road and out of traffic. Continue reading
I received an invitation to join Trish and Brian Christofferson on their monthly round to deliver food assistance to some of the needy in the Potrerillos area. This activity is funded and sponsored by Buenos Vecinos de Boquete. Funding comes from concerned individuals like CC’s readership and Bid for Boquete.
I arrive at their house at 8:30 with camera in hand and batteries charged (mine and the camera’s).
There are certain activities that I like better than others and people helping people ranks at the top of my like list.
Four of us headed out Friday morning, Trish, Brian, myself and Nino, who is a Panamanian neighbor that insures that no communication gets lost with the clients. While Trish and Brian’s Spanish is better than mine, it is always good to be armed with one fluent in local culture and idiom.
We went in Brian’s 4×4. The families that are receiving these food donations live in areas that some sedans would never be able to go.
As a side note, I am sure you know that clicking on any photo will enlarge it.
Posted at the request of Bid 4 Boquete. Record the date of the event.
Friday, Tom McCormack brought not one, not two, but three containers from the United States to assist the needs of the residents of Chiriqui. The trucks were met by about 60 volunteers to unload the contents and take them into Gimnasio Municipal Pedregal. I think at least 6 gringos assisted in the unload.
I had another appointment at nine and didn’t get there until ten and the last container was just getting finished. Sorry, I was late, but I did get photos to show what had been accomplished.
Tom spends all of his time providing for the medical needs of his adopted province of Chiriquí. You might say he carries the people’s needs on his shoulders. When the trucks had been unloaded, the volunteers raised Tom on their shoulders as a sign of respect for all that he does.
Tom spoke to all of the volunteers and thanked them for helping him help the people of Chiriquí. He told them that if they had family in need that they would be at the front of the list for these resources. He also told them that nothing would be given out without him personally verifying that there was a valid need. Tom has been her long enough to know that some who will look at this as an opportunity to get something to sell and not for Tom’s intended purpose.
The amount of items that arrived this time is just mind boggling. Tom told me the prices of some of the items and, in US dollars, the items that were delivered in these three containers would be well over a million dollars.
I took this panorama photo as I entered the gym.
Click to enlarge
Following is a photo gallery. You will see diapers, wheelchairs (manual and battery powered), hospital beds, walkers, crutches, prostheses, and much much more. Thanks Tom for all that you do.
I Just received the following email from Tom McCormack. If you are not familiar with Tom’s containers, Container #8 Unload can be seen HERE.
With a sigh of relief the containers are on the way. The plan is to unload tomorrow morning at 8 am in the gym (known as Denie Artes) in Pedregal. Same place as before. We have 3–40 footers coming so every hand we can muster is important.
Thanks to those that can help.
8 blocks past the entrance to the airport. Turn left, then 2 blocks.
More directions in the first comment below.
I have had readers ask about Tom McCormack’s next container shipments. Well this email says it is getting close. Those that want to help in the unloading can start getting ready.
I’m arriving David Monday @ 5pm.
3-40 ft containers arriving Colon Tuesday 23.
Arrive David ASAP. Exact time and date to follow.
We’ll be unloading in the same place as before in Pedregal.
I received a request to post the following.
The sixth year of Chiriqui’s biggest charity fundraiser, Bid 4 Boquete, has kicked off with a volunteer meeting in September. Volunteers representing the Panamanian, expat, and indigenous populations once again are banding together to raise money to support charitable and civic organizations in the greater Boquete area. The two-day event, supported by Major Sponsor Banco General, is scheduled for February 9-10, 2013. Corporate sponsors to date are Casa Solution and Chiriqui Storage. Continue reading
I just received the following email from my friend Tom McCormack related to his prothesis project. You can search Chiriquí Chatter for “Tom McCormack” to see some other articles I have posted.
Someday these legs will walk again.