Volunteers gather around the table in Masindi, Uganda, to share in a meal.
By, Tyler McCoy, PMI’s Director of Operations
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for a multitude of reasons; the most obvious one would being the focus on gratitude and thanks. The holiday creates both time and space for reflection. The fast-paced culture of our society does not always make this discipline of reflection or even introspection very easy. And I find that I can pretty easily get swept away in all of the commitments and busyness without stopping, not even for a moment, to enjoy and celebrate all of the things happening right now. I tend to be so future-oriented focused that I miss the present. But not at Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving I give myself the grace and freedom to be still and be thankful.
When I think about PMI and all of the growth and change that has characterized the past few years I am overwhelmingly thankful. We have so many different groups of people who have not only made the success of the organization possible but who have also made it a whole lot of fun.
The first of those groups is our staff and board of directors. Our staff and board are some of the best around. I have honestly never been surrounded by a group of people with more passion and drive than our folks who serve on staff and on our board. Each and every single one of this group loves people really well and is incredibly invested in bringing about change to the healthcare landscape of the developing world. And each of them does so with such grace and humility that I find myself being both inspired and empowered daily.
And then the next group is our partners. We have a team of people who have come alongside what we are doing and we literally could not be more grateful. It is always so encouraging to see people working together for a common cause, for good. From partners like NEEDTOBREATHE to Seacoast Church, we are constantly blown away by all of the support they provide that is directly linked to our growth as an organization. There is something to be said for organizations who use their influence and platform in a way that spurs their fellow man on. And that is exactly how all of our partners leave us feeling at the end of the day. We are so thankful that so many organizations have entered into this with us and cheered us on all along the way.
Next on the list is our volunteers, all 1,537 of them. The volunteers are such a unique group of people. We always say from the beginning that anyone who is willing to give of their time, resources, and talent to join us on a trip to Uganda or Nicaragua is already a pretty awesome person. Our volunteer base is incredibly strong and I, personally, have never met one that did not inspire or make an impact on me in some way. And even more than that there is just something so powerful that happens when you get a group of people together, take them outside of their comfort zone, and watch them come to life as they become part of the solution to healthcare in the developing world.
And last but certainly not least is our patients. The whole reason we exist as an organization comes down to this last people group. We have the honor and privilege of serving some of the best East Africa and Central America has to offer. We are constantly blown away by their courage, strength, and joy, and we literally could not be more excited to play a small part in transforming the communities they live in to include access to healthcare.
So the only thing really left to say is thank you. And while those two words seem almost trite and do not even begin to articulate the overwhelming feelings of gratitude, I do not know any other way to attempt to express our thanksgiving. Thank you to each and every person who has made these past few years of growth at PMI possible. And we look forward to having each of you be part of the story for years to come.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Photo by Paul Kim for PMI.