I don't think I've ever met a REAL celebrity. If I have, I can't remember. Part of this is because I don't really want to...I don't value the quality of "celebrityism" in and of itself. But I HAVE met a few people who I've wished I had an autographed picture of. I've met a few people that left me speechless. And there are quite a few who I'll gladly boast of meeting. They're not celebritites and they may never be. But the qualities they have are super human courage, faith, and love for people and that makes them my heroes. And my favorites among these people won't even take the credit for it...they give it all to God.
A few weeks ago I met one such person as I had the distinct pleasure of doing a photo shoot for Jon Fussle's political campaign. I left so very impressed with Jon! Today I am even more proud to be able to say I know him as I hear more and more about his efforts and sacrifice for the people in Haiti. Had the earthquake not happened, right now Jon would be focusing 100% of his time and efforts on his campaign, but instead he's running back to back flights from FL to Haiti, shuttling supplies, doctors, and nurses to care for the people there. He is, to me, the only kind of celebrity I'd ever pay money and fight crowds to meet.
Below I've copied and pasted an email circulating from Tyler Sylveus. He shares some stories and some ways we can help. When I think of all that Jon and his crew are personally sacrificing right now, I can't help but look at a few measly dollars as a drop in the bucket in comparison.
I wanted to take a few moments to bring everyone up to date on how and what we have been up to in Haiti.
Last week, Tuesday I think it was, I found out that my old neighbor Frank Cortois couldn't reach his family in Haiti (4 brothers and 2 sisters). I have known frank since I was in middle school and this simply broke my heart.
At the same time Jon Fussle, a pilot who flies some for us, was beginning to formulate a plan to fly in some relief workers to Haiti. See the article here for the story on them. http://www.poststar.com/news/local/article_12c4fee6-03d2-11df-8aa3-001cc4c03286.html
Last Friday night Jon, Frank and Heidi loaded up the Lance from our hangar in Warsaw and set out for Haiti. They landed for a refueling stop in Georgia and then on to Fort Lauderdale. They spent the day Saturday making final preparations and gaining clearance to fly into Port au Prince with their relief workers and supplies.
Jon has maintained a nearly constant schedule of flights into Port au Prince over the past 5 days. Carrying much needed supplies of food, water and medical gear as well as additional personal to aid in the relief effort. Even now there is no functional way to move supplies or people into our out of the country without the use of a private aircraft. Many areas of Port au Prince still haven't seen the Red Cross or Military and the workers that have been taken in are serving in just such an area (Carrefour)!
Monday afternoon I spoke with Jon and he relayed an urgent request for some specific medical supplies. We were able with the help of Pillbox Pharmacy and a local doctor in Warsaw to obtain those supplies (and much more). Todd Anderson and I spent the night packing these supplies into large duffel bags and set out just before 2am to catch a early flight to Fort Lauderdale and deliver these supplies to Jon and the plane. We were also extended an invitation by the relief workers to come to Haiti and spend some time working alongside them.
We spend the day Tuesday running from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami and back in search of MRE's, satellite cell phones, loads of protein bars and other "priceless" items. After accomplishing our goals and loading the plane with supplies and ourselves we set out.
Just after takeoff Jon noticed a slight abnormality in our dear Piper Lance, something was just a bit off. No one wants to fly over water when the airplane isn't absolutely perfect. We returned to the airport and spent the night reflecting on the previous several days while we rested in the lounge of the terminal. Jon worked to round up the right mechanic to look at the plane the next morning and diagnose the problem. Todd watched (cheering) Scott Browns victory in Massachusetts.
The plane was given a clean bill of health and proceeded on with Jon, Todd and lots of supplies Wednesday night. On that plane was a strange item requested by one of the MD's on the ground in Haiti. He wanted battery powered reciprocating saw's so that he could amputate limbs. You simply cannot imagine the horror of those on the ground. Today a woman walked up to Todd and placed a few week old baby into his arms before turning and leaving. They spent most of the day trying to prepare a better site for a permanent base camp. They saw numerous bodies pulled from the rubble of a neighbor house. The stories I hear from our guy's on the ground are about to overwhelm me. It's the most horrible situations you can possibly imagine. Frank made a statement to me that keeps coming back to my mind "all the good your hearing about on TV isn't happening where we are". He meant that the massive mulit-national relief effort hasn't even touched the area that they are staying and serving in.
But there is hope!
That's why you are getting this. Our little group and our little plane have been able to move in over 15 people, mostly medically trained. Several thousand pounds of medical supplies and food. However…
We can do more!
We tried to buy a truck today. A nice pickup will run us about 22,000.00 (cash only) right now. We need a vehicle to move supplies and to bring the wounded to where the doctors are. Thousands of people can't get medical aid because they can't move to where the aid is. We need to move doctors and nurses out to where the critical people just lay dying! We need vehicles.
I have a client willing to donate vehicles and have them to the airport in Florida. Joe Wilke is wanting to take mass amounts of generators and other supplies. There are churches connected all over to our little band of people and Carrefour, Haiti. We have doctors and nurses sitting in Florida waiting for a ride to go down.
Right now the lance is broken and may be a day or so to get back up. Please pray we find the needed part quickly.
We have a group willing to let us take their C-130 for one trip down to Port au Prince. With this airplane we could take 44,000 pounds of supplies. With the partnership of Joe Wilke and World Compassion Network we could fill that plane. We could take enough vehicles, lights, generators, large tents, cots, medical supplies that don't fit in the little plane, clothing, food, water, medicine, gas powered concrete saws, and tons (literally) of other equipment and supplies to support those in Haiti for a months or longer. Also, giving them the opportunity to expand the area of their influence. They need this very badly, the Haitian people need this support.
We are scheduled to move Joe Wilke and his team into Haiti on Feb 4th. We could have this plane load delivered on January 27th if we raise the funds.
Please help us raise the $60,000 needed for the cargo flight. When you think of the value of the goods we can take with us compared to if we had to buy it in Haiti we will be saving a tremendous amount of money.
We will continue our efforts to aid those doing the "heavy lifting" in Haiti. The needs go so beyond immense. With every meal given or medical supply used we are able to share the love of Christ with hurting people.
If you would like to help in this effort either financially or in some other way please email me at Tyler@cropins.net with your pledge. If you can give even just a little and your friends could also, we can get this done. If you have already given or can't please promise us your prayers. These contributions will go through World Compassion Network and will be tax deductible.
This is an opportunity to give to a close source where you know that every single cent is directly to Haiti, no admin expense, no employees, just help for those hurting.
I would ask everyone to pray for the safety and effectiveness of those doing this work every day.
For more regular updates keep up with the World Compassion website or several different facebook pages (Jon Fussle or Tyler Silveus).
Thanks for your support and prayers.
Sorry if this is garbled, very tired right now……need money