Cuba is Blessed with Supplies

Cuba is Blessed with Supplies

“Dear Jerome, I am very tired but very happy with the blessing of the MEMO donations I picked up today. It was stressful because you know I have never received so many suitcases in a day. Everything went smoothly, Tricia LeBlanc is very proactive and she organized all very well. I went to the airport with Mary, I picked up 7 suitcases first. She stayed there looking after the rest of them until I went back to the airport to take them home. Thank you very much for the help for the gas (in the priority suitcase), and the detergent, this is something elementary that you cannot find in Cuba in these days. God bless you, A big hug from Cuba, Abel 

I will take the medical supply to the hospital during the rest of the week, all will be very important for us.”

It sounds simple: A tourist takes a bag of medical supplies to Cuba. BUT IT ISN’T!

The supplies have to be donated: 

  • from Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Doctors’ offices
  • City of Thunder Bay
  • Home and Community Care
  • Pharmacies
  • Shoppers Wellwise
  • medical clinics
  • private individuals

Twice as Nice supplies us with wheeled suitcases. Dave March and other volunteers pick up donations from the institutions and deliver them to our warehouse on Van Horne St. They are sorted into those that need “updating” and those suitable to be shipped. Our volunteer daters take supplies home for updating and return them to be packed.

Volunteers pack the suitcases as full as possible making a list of contents for Cuban Customs. The suitcases are picked up by the tourists or in todays’ case, two of our volunteers delivered 12 of them to the airport at 7 a.m.! Tourists take the bags through Cuban customs and hand them over to Dr. Abel Santana. He takes them in his little Lada car 30 kms to Matanzas City and distributes them to where they are most needed. And thus, the email from Dr Santana and his wife Marisel (Mary).

Finally, Sun Wing charged $107 for each extra bag. They don’t waive the fee anymore for humanitarian bags. This is good and bad news. The bad news is that this is an unexpected cost for MEMO. The good news is that even if you are not lucky enough to be going to Cuba this winter you can still contribute to the cost of shipping a bag or more.

Go to <memoministry.org> “Donate” for the several ways you can do this.

We thank God for the opportunity to help the suffering Cuban people in this way.

And we thank you for being part of this life saving initiative either by taking a bag or helping with the cost.


Jerome Harvey

Dr. Santana receiving an endoscope and suitcases in Varadero from Thunder Bay tourist Tricia LeBlanc.
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