An excellent charitable cause for this season of giving!

In June of this year, I posted a video here from the New York Times about the “Improbable American,” Todd Shea. Some people responded with suspicion and hostility to Todd's work in the comments to that post, but Todd reacted there with patience and good humor, taking pains to explain his admirable and important work in greater detail. Later in the summer, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Todd one day, and I was so impressed with his positive attitude and his courage that I promised to try to raise funds for his organization at 3QD this year.

Well the time to do that is now. We are trying to raise at least $2,500 before Christmas. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below again, read Todd's profile from the New York Times, and then please consider giving as generously as possible to Todd's cause, which is doing so much, not just for the poor of Pakistan, but also in terms of America's image in the hearts of people there.

Please use the ChipIn widget near the top of the right hand column here at 3QD to make contributions. Think what an excellent Christmas gift to the people of Pakistan this will be!

On Christmas day, I will publish a list of contributors (without the dollar amounts) who have given their permission for their name to be published. (I will write to you and ask, but you can make it easier for me by including a note when you pay.)

Let's try to exceed our target by as much as possible!

Adam B. Ellick in the New York Times:

ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 07 14.16 The lone hospital in this Kashmiri mountain town was on the eve of hosting one of the year’s biggest social gatherings, a health fair for several hundred villagers, and Todd Shea was not happy.

The hospital’s founder, Mr. Shea, an American who resembles a football coach more than a health worker, was outraged because one of the employees had failed to purchase enough hygiene kits — freebies the villagers had come to expect at the fair.

“This is a problem, and there is a solution,” Mr. Shea, strident but good-natured, yelled to a staffer on the phone from the field. “Let’s see how good you are. I know there are kits lurking in the walls. I guarantee you that if I come there, I will find them. You know me!”

Seven hours later, at midnight, the employee returned from a nearby city with a sheepish smile and 100 kits he had managed to round up. Mr. Shea hugged him, “I believe in you,” he said.

If Mr. Shea, 42, had a résumé, it would by his own admission reveal far more experience as a cocaine addict than as a medical professional. But with his take-charge demeanor, he has transformed primary health care here in this mountain town in Kashmir, where government services are mostly invisible.

More here.

Todd's description of his organization:


Sustainable Healthcare Initiatives Now Empowering Pakistan (SHINE PAKISTAN) and its Pakistan-registered entity, Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), have been operating for nearly 4 years to provide preventive, primary and emergency healthcare services and health education to citizens living in remote and mountainous area that were devastated by the October 8 2005 earthquake in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS currently provide docotors, medical staff, volunteers, medicines, supplies and operational funds to 12 health facilities in cooperation with The Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and the the Health Department of Pakistan Aministered Kashmir.

SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS believes in the strategy of working toward making the need for external support irrelevant or greatly diminished as soon as possible by empowering communities to manage their health needs through a partnership with existing government healthcare facilities and developing internal funding and accountability mechanisms so that an affordable, fair and effective healthcare system will take root and grow into a trusted community institution that will provide proper basic health services and public health education for generations to come. SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS hopes to develop and expand this concept throughout Pakistan with the help of The Pakistani American Community, Americans in general, USAID and organizational field partners such as UM Healthcare Trust and Human Development Foundation (HDF). SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS are Grass Roots organizations whose founders believe that EVERYONE is important and can play a significant role in helping Pakistan achieve its magnificent potential.
SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS is a contributor to the Hasho Foundation's Sahara Fund for victims of last year's Islamabad Marriott Bombing and has provided support to injured security guards and to families of guards who were killed in the attack. SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS is partnering with Developments In Literacy (DIL) to provide school health programs at DIL schools in Pakistan and has responded to the Swat IDP Crisis by providing doctors, medicines and critical supplies for the last three months in partnership with UM Trust, Ayub Medical College, National Rural Support Program and Edhi Foundation. An effort by SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS to provide medical help for Waziristan IDPs and monsoon victims of Coastal Sindh is also under way.
SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS has recently been featured in several news publications, including the Asian Times, The Orange County Register and The New York Times and is the recipient of the Tamgha-i-Eisaar Medal from the Nation of Pakistan and official honors from the Prime Minister of AJK, RISE/USAID and the Muzaffarabad Citizens Forum, King Edward Medical College Alumni Association and The Pakistan-Canada Association.
View photos and videos and keep up with the latest news and info about SHINE PAKISTAN/CDRS at Facebook here.