How can the world be so different in such a short time? I mused as I sat down to write this annual letter after reviewing the one that I wrote to you one year ago. As I reflected on the many things for which I am thankful this year, I also realized that the burdens have gotten much heavier for many during this global pandemic. My heart goes out to all who have suffered from the virus or who have lost family or friends. It has been a difficult year for everyone in one way or another.
Our teams have been unable to return to Kenya or to Uganda this fall and winter. Out of an abundance of caution for our patients, their families, in-country health care workers and our own team members, we await a safer time to travel. Meanwhile, children with cleft lip and palate are born every day and the paucity of surgeons in Kenya and Uganda will lead to a pent up demand for our services and ongoing suffering for the untreated patients. Therefore, we ask for your generous donations to prepare us to meet these needs. For those who are able to help us prepare for upcoming trips in 2021, we are grateful. We are tentatively planning for an August, 2021 trip to Uganda as we hope for successful vaccination programs. Our monthly fixed expenses have continued during the pandemic and we have held off on fundraising until now. We want to be ready and able to purchase supplies and equipment as soon as we determine that it is safe for us to travel. For those who are unable to give financially, we also covet your well wishes and prayers that we can soon resume our travels and continue training nurses and doctors to provide specialized surgical care to their fellow citizens.
Because of your gifts, people in remote areas of the world have access to necessary medical and surgical care. This is going to be even more important in the next few years as access to care has been reduced due to the pandemic.
May this season of being thankful and of giving find you safe and in good spirits. Thank you for making the world a better place, one smile at a time.