Having Pride and Enthusiasm for FOTCOH

Kay Shank, a long-time FOTCOH volunteer, is invited each spring to do a presentation about Haiti and the work of FOTCOH by Deborah Erickson at Bradley University. In preparation, Kay creates a powerpoint presentation which walks the class through a typical day at the clinic, while also covering the history of Haiti as a country, the roots of FOTCOH as an organization, and also FOTCOH’s current work in the country. The presentation includes a tour, floor by floor, of the clinic and highlights the patients and conditions our volunteers encounter.

Since Kay has a background in recruiting, she finds herself as not only a FOTCOH volunteer but also a recruiter of future volunteers and donors. She says that the students she presents to give her comments and feedback on her presentation that warm her heart. Eventually, a lot of them become FOTCOH volunteers or volunteer with other organizations.

Here are some of the student’s comments about Kay’s presentation:

“My favorite part of Kay Shank’s presentation was hearing her enthusiasm and pride she felt for participating in this organization.  She showed so much passion for her work in Haiti and helping their people. It was very heart-warming.”

“Overall I thought this presentation was so informative and Kay did not hide the reality of how hard it is to live in Haiti.  It was very inspiring and it truly makes me want to go and volunteer and help the people of Haiti.”

“What surprised me the most from the presentation was not that 85% of the population is poor, that most are illiterate, or that many die from malnutrition and preventable/treatable illnesses, but most surprising to me was the dependence individuals have on the volunteers that provide healthcare and medications. This demonstrated that even one person or a small group can make a difference, even though it may seem impossible.  I am a firm believer that educating individuals in and outside of Haiti is key to improving the well-being of countries who are suffering, like Haiti.”

“Most interesting to me was the description of the Haitian people.  Kay described them as extremely patient and appreciative of the care they receive.  I can’t imagine waiting in line for days to see the doctor!  It makes me happy to think that local people are providing such wonderful care to the people that need it most.”

“I thought it was amazing how the group traveled to Haiti immediately following the earthquake.  That specific earthquake was broadcast for weeks in America, and I can only imagine the devastation they witnessed firsthand.  It is impressive that the building the Haitians built with their own hands was able to withstand a natural disaster of that magnitude.”

Thank you, Kay, for all you do to inspire students, volunteer, and all of us through your hard work and dedication to FOTCOH!