Thursday, January 21, 2010


The crisis in Haiti has captivated me for over a week now. I keep MSNBC rolling on my monitor during the day, and find myself frozen at times by the horror and devastation that these people are experiencing. It's tough to understand and all I want to do is help!!

I become an EMT-B this March (cross your fingers I pass the state board exam). I'm researching Mercy Corp and Medical Teams International volunteer programs for people with medical certifications. Medical Teams International will allow an EMT-B to volunteer a week of their time by assisting surgeons and nurses at hospitals or at disaster/emergency sites. I have my passport, so that won't be a problem it's the funding. The trips range from $1,800-$2,500. When the time comes, I'm thinking in February when I can review my schedule and decide if I can commit to this, I will start trying to get sponsors and donations. I want to go to Haiti for a week during my Spring Break from school.

My partner in school, Trent, really wants to help the Haitians so I think we'll be trying to raise the funds together. I plan on hitting up the owners of the dealership I work at, Ron Tonkin Toyota. They do a lot with UNICEF and donate locally. I've been with this company over six and half years, so I hope they can donate some money towards an amazing experience for me, and the big payoff is putting my training to good use.

I will also be able to bring supplies with me but I won't know the specifics until I'm assigned.

I'm very thankful for my life here in the US when I watch from the comfort of my home the hardship the Haitian people are going through. Please donate!! The American Red Cross are working wonders over there.


Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

The Red Cross is a great organization to volunteer with.

This is the group I went to Haiti with after during and after nursing:

I don't recall any EMTs (it's more of a rehab organization), but worth looking into if you're serious about going. Their trips were also considerably longer than just a week.

Hayley Freakin' Rules said...

The Red Cross is amazing but only take nurses, surgeons, doctors...

I would love to go for longer but I could only afford to take a week off work and still need to get back to school. But I'll look into it - thanks!!! I can also volunteer w/the NW Medical Team once I'm a paramedic.

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

Just beware: Medical Teams International (previously NW Medical Teams) is a Christian organization ("We believe in Jesus..." is part of their mission statement).

Hayley Freakin' Rules said...

When I read the application it stated clearly and boldly you don't have to be a Christian, you just have to support their mission which reflects Jesus' mission...

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

I'm not saying not to do it, just do you homework (which you have).

I've always had a problem volunteering with groups that are funded by religious organizations if I did not agree with their manner of proselytizing or felt that I could not in good conscious represent them.

The reason I never volunteered with MTI: They receive grants from Apostolic Christian World Relief (Apostolic Christian Church of America) which is extremely gender-suppressive by instructing women how to dress, to keep their hair long and not to wear any cosmetics. They are also an extremely homophobic group. Dating is discourage (God tells a man when it is time to marry and a Church Elder selects and informs a woman from the congregation).

That being said, MTI does great work and has a lot of community support. I just couldn't go through with it (as much as I would have liked to have them on my resume). Hell, OHSU donates to them and I spent the greater part of my twenties there as a student and nurse.

So, maybe my argument doesn't hold water :P

It was a very tough call for me.

Hayley Freakin' Rules said...

LOL... I don't think I will do any long term international volunteering w/MTI - a week trip for relief support is good. I really don't know what the project aka "mission" will detail come April. My mind could change as well as American Red Cross' criteria. Right now they are only taking RN, MD, PARA - in a few months they may take EMTs. They take us locally... maybe when the demand for surgeons isn't so high, they'll take any medical certification... that's what I'm hoping. I volunteer out of the Oregon Trail Chapter now and I'd like to stick w/them.