Kindness in action has now participated in 30 plus years of service to communities, so much in need. I have participated for 14 years, it has changed my life profoundly and has enriched my life so greatly. It opened my eyes to appreciate how lucky I am to have been born in Canada and to have had the opportunities I have been blessed with in life.
With so many big hearts and kind people in our membership I have found that we really can make a difference in the lives of many. I am always so touched at the gratitude expressed from the patients.
Our membership has continued to grow and we continually get interest in new people joining as word spreads about how truly rewarding this experience can be, to give the most basic of care to people that wouldn’t otherwise receive it. The days are long, conditions often difficult and we work very hard. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Our board has changed significantly again this year. Amil Shapka, after so many years of giving his time, energy and expertise is now a chair holder, as a Director. Tim Nawrot has stepped in to take his position as Treasurer. Dave Maskell, as Vice President, has continued the daunting task of organizing all the volunteers into the brigades ( forever grateful for taking this thankless job! ). Geoffry Stewart has stepped back and Mebs Sayani was voted into the position of Secretary at this year’s AGM, he has also taken on the role of equipment mule. I am still residing as President. We thank Judy Maskell for packing our supply bins, for without the gear, we get nowhere. Thank you too, to Geoff Haszard for his past and continued contributions with the casino fundraising.
We are always evolving and adjusting the roles that each of us play to try and improve the KIA machine. This year we implemented two depots, one in Calgary for the equipment and one in Redwater for the supplies. It was successful in delegating duties, working to simplify and make the return instructions more efficient. We are also going to ask our members take a larger role in the equipment care while on a trip and how it gets returned to us. The new sterilization system has had a few bumps in the road but the Steam system is proving effective, we are tweaking some supplies and addressing concerns brought to us by our members.
The clinic in Kigezi, Uganda ( with Change For Children, Sinclair Dental and the U of A ) is up and running, we have hired a dental officer to man as well as one office manager/dental assistant. Dr. Daryl and Kim Penner have worked so hard to make this a reality, special thanks to Jocelyn Guillemette ( from Sinclair ) who had made many trips to build and set up the clinic. We are equally proud to still support Cimientos de Educacion in Guatemala through educational scholarships, which we have done since the mid 90’s.
Thanks to our dedicated Casino Committee, we had another successful casino, raising much needed funds to fuel our future activities. As always we are so appreciative of the generosity of our many annual donors and volunteers.
We remain entirely volunteer based. 2015 will also bring new project partners. This year we have committed to 16 projects in 8 countries, providing close to 350 volunteers the opportunity to work from the heart. Much has changed and much has remained the same...
Tina ( Papenhuyzen- ) Ross