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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow August 2008 arrow August 4, 2008

August 4, 2008
WAWA Blog August 4, 2008: The Power of One United with Desire 


Another in a continuing series from New Orleans

 

 

[9th Ward, New Orleans] "A friend invited me to attend a lecture being given by Danny Wuerfell in Orlando. Danny inspired me to make a few phone calls which lead to my family and work colleagues to all do something," Dr. Pinkal Patel, informed me in the office space of the Desire Street Ministries which had been transformed into a free walk in medical clinic for the first time.

The something that Dr. Patel and twelve others did was travel on their own dime and give up their time from July 28 to August 1, 2008 to provide medical care to the under served in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, where many residents have not seen a physician since before The Storm of 2005.

Dr. Patel, a 2001 graduate and third year chief resident of Florida Hospital's Family Medicine Residency Program is currently the Physician of Oviedo Family Health Center in Florida. Dr. Patel paid his staff while he was away from home but he wasn't making any money.

 

Danny Wuerfell, the son of an Air Force Chaplain, grew up living all over America, spent three years in Spain and graduated as valedictorian of Fort Walton Beach High School in Florida, Danny once led the University of Florida, Gators to four SEC championships and a National title and now spends his time inspiring and leading many others.

"I remember the first time I grasped the vision of Desire Street Ministries. It was 1997 and I had recently moved to New Orleans, having been drafted by the Saints. One day a brochure about the ministry arrived from one of its Board members, Dr. Scott Donaldson. I remember being struck by the twofold mission of Desire Street: to transform the Desire neighborhood into a desirable place to live, and to replicate that ministry model in other places across the country…we've got even more plans, programs and dreams for the Ninth Ward…to transform…impoverished neighborhoods into desirable places to live."[1]

 

Marcia Peterson, Director of Desire Street Ministries in the 9th Ward informed me, "This area was not even included in the Unifying New Orleans Plan! I told Danny, we have got to do something, so we formed our own community development program. We are determined to improve the quality of life in this neighborhood regarding housing, education and medical."

 

17 year old Rhumit Patel, a student in the medical magnet program at Palm Harbor High School in Pinellas County, Florida stated, "This is my first mission trip and I hope to be back. The facility we are working in is better than I expected, but the city is worse than I imagined. I've seen mattresses and toilets still in the streets."

Anjul Casson, from England commented, "I am in the U.S. this summer interning at my uncles insurance business. When my Uncle Pinkal told me about this trip, I immediately wanted to do something too. In England we all watched the TV and saw a lot of news about Hurricane Katrina. We all couldn't believe how in the United States of all places, it took so long before the people were rescued."


Neither could American citizen who all were helpless to do something to help during the initial crisis.

Three years after The Storm, the crisis continues, but the very good news is that the power of one with a desire to do something for the under served of New Orleans, has also inspired corporate America to do something too.

Quest Diagnostics provided lab services to all in need, and many of the patients who were seen were diabetics who had not had any blood work in two or three years.

Through the Orlando office of McKesson, a national medical supply company, table paper, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, alcohol wipes, scalpels, needles, gloves and more were donated.

When a big unnamed drug company was uninspired to help, Dr. Patel then contacted all the drug reps who visit his office. He informed them of his desire to supply medicines to the under served needy in the 9th Ward, which inspired those reps to then contact their colleagues throughout Florida, who in return  provided much medicine.

 

A phone call from Dr. Patel's wife, Monal inspired Mai Vu, Sales Manager of The Wyndham Riverfront Hotel to provide exquisite accommodations at discounted rates. "When Mrs. Patel informed me of all the volunteers who were coming to my city I got very excited. I was born and raised here, and after Katrina I lived in Chicago, but I got home sick and came home. I believe in this city and it's a great city because of the people who live here."


Mrs. Patel added, "Everything has exceeded our expectations. We originally thought we would all be working and living in a gym without air conditioning. The Wyndham is a great place to stay and the community of volunteers with the Desire Street Ministries has been inspiring. The local hip-hop radio station even announced this one week free clinic and yesterday [Monday] we saw 37 patients."

 

A few days later, 80 patients were treated in one day and within five, 260 residents of the 9th Ward had been examined courtesy of two family physicians, one gastroenterologist, one nurse practitioner, two registered nurses and two physical therapists. All were assisted by Dr. Patel's three nieces, a nephew, a sister in law, and his cousin and wife who are both pharmacists.

 

 

While I was in the office, a student from Tulane came in and stated, "Obama spoke at the university a few months ago. He said it was unacceptable for residents of New Orleans to be living like this, enduring all these obstacles they are confronted with because they have been stranded by the federal government."


We the people are suppose to be the government and we do "have it in our power to begin the world again" [Tom Paine] that is; if we have the desire.

1.      http://www.desirestreet.org

 
   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
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