Posted by: Patti Dickinson | 06/13/2010

Convoy of Hope — Swope Park


Bunches of yellow and white striped tents scattered across the landscape of Swope Park.  Hundreds of grey t-shirted volunteers, with “Hope” scrawled across their chests. A chance for what should have been thousands of uninsured in need of healthcare to get what they needed, without cost.  This was something that no governmental agency was involved in.  This was humanitarian medical care.  A gigantic work of mercy.

My daughter, Mary Morgan (second year nursing student) were working in the HIV testing area.  We were ready to go at 9:30.  Stethoscopes at the ready.  And between 9:30 and noon we saw — one patient.  The clouds moved in and the rain poured down.  Not a sprinkle.  Not a good quick soaking.  But a deluge.  A rain that soaks you to your underwear in under ten seconds.  All that planning, all the set up, all the hours of not-looking-for-glory volunteers who’d done the grunt work— set up the tents, hauled stuff out of the backs of vans, set up tables, and all the donors of food.  So the silver lining in this seemingly fizzle of an event would have to be the message that there is compassionate care in our community.  There are doctors, nurses, hospitals, chiropractors, mammographers and dentists who care enough to show up on a Saturday morning to donate time and talent.

Three hours of rain.  It never let up.  We all kept saying to one another, “Surely it can’t rain like this for too much longer…..”  But it did.  So much rain that when we ran to the car after it was over with a red plastic saran-wrap textured ponchos, our tennis shoes and socks were not only soaked, but we were running through ankle-deep water.

But the funnest part of the day was hitting the asphalt parking lot and finding four people crammed under one too-small umbrella.  We pulled off our ponchos and flung them at two of the four umbrella-occupants as we sprinted toward the car.

Paying it forward.

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