Mark Kurtzfeldt, who travelled with us on a previous baseball equipment trip called a few days ago and asked, “ Do you need a hospital? “
You may wonder how a baseball organization got into the hospital supply business. It was simple in origin, but sometimes we just happen to be in the right place at the right time, at the unique juncture, where need and opportunity meet.
From the beginning it was toiletries, like soap and shampoo and toothbrushes, combs brushes that went to the women from the baseball families that were giving baseball equipment when they knew we had a trip planned. It was common for people to just drop off boxes and ziplock bags that we could throw in a suitcase and take with us, much like the used baseball equipment we bring on every trip.
It evolved somehow to the SD Synod Missionary giving it Soliette, a minister and physician, and she would take it to families with HIV and it became just that much more important. That became became a priority in fact and the start of this process. When we toured medical facilities, many beds were simple pallets made of blankets on the floor that were provided by families. Beds, linens and pillows and simple toiletries are a luxury that most rural hospitals can only dream of. Let alone surgical trays and privacy screens.
When we toured a rural hospital with Mark Kurtzfeldt, he was so moved by the lack of basic medical equipment that he made inquiries when he knew of the hospital closure in Madison, SD and supplied us with an entire 30 bed facility, which will be included in our first hospital supply container this summer.
It became apparent of the need for basic equipment and supplies from various sources have been donated and partnerships with medical facilities and professionals continue to grow.
Bill Ellingson, now a veteran, helped in his own way and started buying jewelry made by families afflicted by HIV and selling it back home in South Dakota. The culture of helping Kids Round First continues to progress and to drive change.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!