I work with Gerry from time to time at a fire hall in Toronto. I can’t quite recall how the conversation started, but clearly remember being so immersed in his story. Long story short, he told me how he spends his holidays in the Dominican Republic. He travels there on his dollar and time to build homes for those in need. He was there when the earthquake hit Haiti and went to see how he could help. He came home 3 months later. Here is a small taste of how interesting and wicked Gerry is...
Some of Gerry’s’ stories in his own words...
“How was it? It's the question I get over and over again... How do you answer this question? How do you explain colors to someone who has never seen...? To answer it quickly with a couple of adjectives or a verb or two does the experience and the situation an injustice. To answer in depth has so far involved a breakdown in my own emotions. I was a witness to events that I hope I can soon forget and never want to see again in my lifetime, and yet there are people and events that I pray I will never forget.’
The stories are endless but the real story is the Haitian people. The news stories of the riots and security problems are few and far between and are being written by sensualists. Yes they are poor and hungry desperate for whatever basic needs they can find, but they are also very generous with what little they have taking in orphans into their own family and providing care and comfort to a young child. Haiti will survive this and many troubles that will follow they are strong people and have a great faith.
We would like to thank everyone who has made this journey possible.
If I could share just a few stories in the first e-mail there was a Haitian police officer who’s leg was amputated the infection was spreading and another amputation was needed or he would lose his life with the help from back home a mercy flight was arranged. My wife got a call from Germany and was told his life was saved and wanted to thank everyone involved. We rented a truck in Sousa and loaded it with medical supplies shoes food and educational supplies these were given out to Samaritan orphanage and others in need. We visited the slums of city of soilel population of aprox 120 thousand and were trying to connect a larger aid agency. With the help of my Korean wife a food distribution was arranged with Korean Canadians paying the total cost. Because of difficulties world Vision was going to by-pass the town of Silo for food distribution. They called it an urban Ghetto with no leadership. That night we entered Silo and were able to find a very well organized network of Haitians and arranged a meeting with food for the hungry. We are happy to report that in 2 weeks they will get a onetime blanket food distribution. We have had several food and water distributions in the town of Silo prior to this and the connections made paid off. We are planning a larger food distribution on Monday to keep them going for the next 2 weeks. With the help the help of Korean doctors a medical clinic will be set up. Tomorrow we will receive the first shipment of tents with a second on Friday and the will be returning on Friday afternoon to Haiti I will try to keep you updated
God Bless, Kyong and Gerry”
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting his awesome wife but I know this about Gerry; he is so unassuming, inspiring, humble and kind. My lesson in all of this? Ask questions, be curious and listen. You never know what you will learn from someone until you hear their story. Everyone has one. More importantly, what it means to be completely unselfish.
So thank you to our ‘Phat Dude’ Gerry!! He is awesome and choosing to do amazing things with his life. If you want to help or have any questions for him, you can contact him at -
"Respect Haiti" <firstname.lastname@example.org>