Pastor Marrion P’Udongo has been called the “Oskar Schindler” of Congo, a man who’s dedicated himself to saving and nurturing the lives of others in one of the world’s most deadliest wars. In 2003, as militia sacked the town of Bunia in northeastern Congo and executed hundreds of their ethnic rivals in the streets, the pastor sheltered scores of people in his home and miraculously guided them to safety. In the years since, his one-man ministry has reached deep into the forest to bring out child soldiers to live once again as children, and insured the welfare of those children whose parents have been killed by war. In order to finance this mission and support his family, Pastor Marrion has worked as a translator and fixer for the world’s leading news agencies who cover the conflict, including the New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, BBC, PBS, NPR, and ABC’s Nightline. If you’ve read a story about Congo in recent years, or seen one on television, the pastor probably helped produce it.
This past year, Pastor Marrion was diagnosed with acute renal failure. He’s currently receiving dialysis in Kampala, Uganda. But in order to survive, he will need a costly kidney transplant.Please help us raise money to pay for the transplant, and to send pastor to either Kigali, Rwanda, or Johannesburg, South Africa for the procedure.
This effort is being spearheaded by journalist Bryan Mealer, photographer Marcus Bleasdaleand filmmaker Taylor Krauss, who have all worked with pastor in Congo and not only value him as a trusted colleague, but as a dear and close friend.
In a country short on heroes, the pastor’s presence is immense. To a community broken and scattered by a decade of fighting, his constant presence was like a lighthouse flickering home. Over the past several years, he’s also helped operate the St. Kizito Orphanage in Bunia, which looks after over a hundred children who’s parents died in the war. In a conflict where local journalists are often targeted and murdered, pastor is also one of the only remaining fixers to work with foreign media. For years, he’s helped give voice to thousands of people victimized and displaced by violence, and more specifically, to the countless number of women and girls in eastern Congo who are raped each year by soldiers and militia and who receive no justice.
The clock is ticking, and without this transplant, the pastor will die. His wife and four children could lose a beloved husband, father, and breadwinner. Without the pastor in the field, the country loses a hero and a leader, while the voices of those he’s championed go forever unheard.
Sounds like they don’t get mail at all. :O/
Got this small list from a captain who says these soldiers do not get mail. I told him I would help spread the word.KelleySGT Rick BakemanSPC Leshaunda FinchSPC Steven LathropSPC Janet MartinezPFC Charles PolkPFC Adam Ramos1LT Nicholas TiptonS&T RSS 3D ACRAPO,AE 09312I would send cards or letters, add your email address, if these soldiers email or write back then invest in follow up box or package. (unless you don’t mind if they don’t write back)As always THANK YOU!Kelley
UTA: When sending cards/letters, just take a name and put with the two lines I put in underlined text.
Please note… at this time, this is all the info I have, and all the info Kelley has. If you do hear back and want to send packages, please refer to this page which includes info on what to send and what can’t be sent.
And because I’ve been asked before, please note that the information I get comes from Kelley who works directly either through an SOS unit or, in many cases, gets the info straight from Marines or soldiers who are currently stationed out of the country. The info is about as up to date as in can get…coming straight from the…um… Marine/soldier’s mouth, so to speak.
Heard from Kelley re: 1stLt Joseph Mazzara USMC and it sounds like he’s getting lots of mail. And we’ve got another name…I know it’s too late to get him any letters or cards for Christmas, but if you have any leftover Christmas cards, I think he’d appreciate them.
From Joseph’s wife, a friend of this soldier:
This is a young, single, Christian guy. Very straight arrow, very smart (b.s. degree in Political Science). He’s a good friend! And yes, my [Jennifer's] Joseph is getting lots of mail. He asked today for Cheez-Its.
SPC Vicinanzo, Joseph D
HQ, 197th Fires Brigade
APO AE 09366
FYI, I checked with my friend Kelley for those who do like to send packages and I’ve put together a page on what she normally sends out, and what can’t be sent. If you want to send more than a letter or card, check out this page.
Jackie at Literary Escapism is helping out some kids…and if you help her help them, you can win an ARC of Hunter’s Fall, along with a slew of other prizes.
Well, technically the math doesn’t add up, but somehow on Thursday $10 became $1150.
Limecello who blogs/reviews over The Good, The Bad and The Unread managed to turn $10 into $1150. How? Because the blogging/twitter community rocks.
From Lime’s original blog…
Most of you know about Mashable, which is actually a company/something I know less about. Social media opinions are for another post. (RED) is an organization I’ve kept on my radar for a while, because of my interest in ONE.
The Global Fund (where all (RED) money goes) invests 100% of (RED) funds into HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. I’m totally cool with giving them my money.
Need or want more reasons to feel good about this?
Why you should feel good about supporting the (RED) cause today:
- Thirty-three million people in the world have AIDS. Twenty-two million live in Africa.
- Every day 3,800 people die in sub-Saharan Africa from AIDS.
- It costs just 40 cents per day for the life-saving medicine someone living with HIV/AIDS in Africa needs to help them live a healthy and productive life.
She was going to donate $10…and things started rolling, it ended up being $1150 donated from various bloggers, authors, reviewers, etc.
Want to read more about it? The original post is here.
So Limecello over at The Good, The Bad & The Unread is donating some money to (RED), a charity for AIDS relief in Africa. And if she gets enough comments on her thread, I’m going to donate $50 as well.
So go over there and comment. Make me give my money away. (FYI, the comments must be done at The Good, The Bad & The Unread, thread here)
Wow. This is easy. Anybody who blogs about dog adoption and the PEDIGREE adoption drive going on thru 9/19 is going to help out dogs. That’s easy.
We adopted our cocker after we had to put our dog to sleep almost two years ago. She came from a rescue operation and they’d rescued her from a puppy mill. Every time I think about the miserable life she’d had, I’m so glad we chose this route.
Adopting a dog is easy and it can save a dog’s life. Plus, it can make you really happy…
Hey, have you got a blog? Can you take a few minutes and blog about dog adoption? If you do, and if you do it between now and 9/19, then link back to the sponsor site & add your blogIt helps shelter animals. For every blog post, PEDIGREE will donate a 20lb bag of dog food. EASY!!!!!**
**I’m assuming you link back… I did it and you do have to post your link on the page I linked to. O.o
From time to time, I get letters from a friend of mine who stays in contact with various military units overseas. This is the latest request I got from her and I wanted to pass it on… if anybody feels like reaching out to these guys, I know they’d appreciate it.
All information posted with permission~
Marine unit will be there till March 2011 needs support
RCT-2 Unit 73910
SSgt Miguel Perez (contact point)
According to my friend, what these guys need the most is simply most contact…letters, cards, that sort of thing. If you write them, and are willing, please include an email address, because they will write back.
If you’d like to do more, other information given to me:
this group is in Afghanistan, so things are more rustic there than in Iraq. A box of snacks is great if they want to add toiletries that is fine too, but zip lock that stuff so it doesn’t leak or absorb into the food items. (does that make sense)things I put in my snack boxessweet and salty mixtrail mixchocolate bars (candy bars though nothing that is solid chocolate)gummy treats, hard candy, gumpoptarts, breakfast bars, muffins, protein barsthemed candy if we are at holiday timeapple sauce, pudding cups, fruit cupspretzels, chips, crackers, pringles chipsdeodorant, shampoo, razor’s, toothbrush, toothpaste…axe body spraylotion, lip balmthat is a basic list I go by, once I make contact with a soldier I then ask him for his favorites
I heard about him via Katidom‘s blog…
He looks like a little heartbreaker, a 4 year old diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
So… anybody who’s much of a regular visitor to my blog probably knows my soft spot. It’s kids, above all and before all. Nope, I don’t know this little guy, but then again, I don’t need to.
He’s a handsome little kid who’s been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and he has family walking in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, raising money and awareness. Would you be able to help out? The info is available at the site here, through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a very awesome site.