Category Archives: Charity

AttaBoy Tom

I just noticed a post on Tom McCormack’s FaceBook page. I felt it was worth a huge AttaBoy from Chiriquí Chatter.

Our last container #17 has just about been delivered to areas of need. To date more than 3000 wheelchairs, more than 3000 walkers, more than 4000 pairs of crutches and around 100 home hospital beds. We just fit number # 392 new prosthetic leg. Hundreds of breast prothesis and wigs, thousands of glasses and lots of hearing aids. Still going strong.
Thomas L. and Linda J.McCormack Foundation.Thanks to all our volunteers in Panama and U.S.A.

You may remember on my Container 17 post, that TVN was here filming the process. They were here again this week doing more followup for  A Panama Hero promotion. Those nominated will be awarded $8,000 for their good work. The winner will be awarded $30,000, if I understand correct.

Obviously everyone in Chiriquí already recognizes that Tom is a hero, but it would be nice to see his foundation pull in the $30K. Think of all the people that Tom would help with that money.

Chiriquí Chatter thinks there is no more deserving winner. Let’s hope that TVN decides the same in December.

A Feel Good Day

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.

20160630_082120Rubi 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. Continue reading A Feel Good Day

Tom McCormack’s Container #17 – Arrives June 30

I just received the following message from Tom McCormack. His latest container should unload Thursday (June 30) around 8AM. Here is a link to a previous container unloading.

Hi Don,
Last news. The driver of the mula is in line waiting to be loaded first thing in the morning.

So you can announce that the loading will start 8AM at the bodaga beside IFARU on Thursday. Any changes will be announced.
Thanks Don Spent all day today with a film crew from TVN.They are waiting to film the unloading.

Amigos de Animales Calendars

I received a request to post the following:

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Calendars make great holiday gifts for family and friends. Order our beautiful Amigos de Animales calendars and share our beautiful Chiriqui with everyone!If ordered by November 26, we will mail them directly to recipients for you – just give us their mailing information! In US and Canada only. The cost is $10 per calendar plus $5 shipping and handling via the Panamanian mail service.

The calendars will be shipped once payment has been made and the mailing address provided.

To order your calendars for the Holidays, please use our Paypal service at

or contact Carol Hurst at

Charity Activity In Parque de Cerventes – Saturday

I received a request to post the following,

Hi Don, I am sending you information about an activity that will be held at Parque de Cervantes this coming Saturday. This activity is to raise funds for ” Ostomizados” ( children, young adults, women, men and the elderly whom suffer problems with their Colon). This Foundation is going to collect money for these people specially for a little boy name Bryan.

There will be live music, food, activities, Zumba and all for a great cause. We hope to see a lot of cooperation from everyone. One donation can go along way.

Don, Stella asked me if it is possible for you to share this on your blog. Stella and other students from Colegio Nuestra Senora de los Angeles will be volunteers that day.

Thank you, we will see you soon.


Number 15 is in the Books

Tom McCormack had his number 15 container unloaded yesterday. He had plenty of help scheduled so I didn’t post an advance notice. 15 containers of medical equipment and supplies that benefit all of Panama.

I did take a few photos which will be at the end of of the post.

The photo I will post as a standalone follows. As the line had formed and items were being passed down the line, we noticed a flock of birds directly overhead circling. Now I don’t know if this was because so much medical equipment in one place usually implies pending death or if there was another reason.

I did hear Tom look up and say, “Not today!” However, the birds continued circling.

The last three photos show the bodega after it was filled. Not bad for one container and some items had already been distributed. Tom did say he has enough at his house in the US to fill 1/2 of another container.

Howard Hill Benefit

I received a notice that there is a benefit that is going to be held for a friend of mine in Boquete (Howard Hill), and I was asked if I would post the benefit.

I will add a personal note. I have known Howard for several years. I met him because of an Embassy case I was called to support. The case was a difficult case and without Howard’s help, the individual’s situation would not have ended well.

I have known Howard to be a giver and not a taker and I am happy to call him my friend. He has been a real asset to both the Panamanian and the English speaking communities.

His situation is unfortunate and not of his own making. Without some help from his friends, Howard’s life will be cut short.

Following is the write up provided by the benefit organizers.

During working life, Howard Hill did a wide variety of things, including developing instructional media for a university system, and writing grants to bring federal money into children and family programs in western North Carolina.

His twelve years of retirement have largely been characterized by volunteerism. Howard was a founding member, and twice president of the Rotary Club of Boquete, wherein he was involved in numerous projects to improve school facilities and learning conditions in Boquete area schools, as well as school and water projects in Bocas del Toro province and the Comarca. He has variously been a donor and volunteer with many of the local civic organizations, providing free photography and sound systems, or just an extra hand, for the Handicap Foundation, Amigos de Boquete, Animales de Boquete, BCP, and the Boquete Biblioteca. However, due to catastrophic personal losses in 2007, Howard leads a very simple existence, and was left without means to afford health insurance.

Howard currently does not have health insurance and is suffering from a worsening case of congestive heart failure. He immediately requires various costly treatments and surgeries, and his life is on the line.

To reach our goal, your support is fundamental, and we greatly appreciate anything you can do for Howard.

Joanna Dodge, one of the organizers, has set up an INDIGOGO fund which may be contributed to via the Internet.

Gran Bingo Anual de Casa Esperanza

I received the following email today and this is a very worthwhile organization. I wrote up Casa Esperanza quite a while ago and Here Is The Post.

Asiste este jueves 30 de Mayo al Gran Bingo de Casa Esperanza
Club David desde las 7:30 p.m.
Muchos premios, cultura y tradiciones
Donación: Bl. 25.00
Casa Esperanza Website is


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I Must Be A Masochist

Boy oh boy, did I get beat up for the previous post on charities. I must be a little masochistic or I would not post anything that might provoke thought or discussion. The post obviously struck a nerve with several people and I seem to have ruffled more than a few feathers. I received hate mail, was called names, and some mail bordered on threats. WOW. What a reaction.

Still, I think anything that encourages discussion is probably a good thing. I am thick skinned and can take it if I dish it out.

It is my opinion that people moving to Panama from a foreign country, and are planning on living in Panama, need to assimilate into the community. To me, that means making an effort to learn the language, understand the culture, and trying to give back to the community.

I also realize that the older we get, each of these things become more difficult. Not all of us can do as much as others. Continue reading I Must Be A Masochist