ER Receives Inspiring Gift of AEDs

By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

(Scroll to the bottom to read a brief update on this blog.)

In 2016, ER’s Brian Wallace shared an important need. “Our Quito Dump Program is growing,” he said. “One day we’ll likely have to deal with a health incident.”

Brian came to Ecuador with a medical background, knowing all too well what can happen when you run programs involving hundreds of at-risk people, volunteers and staff of all ages and health. We really needed one or two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

“That shouldn’t be a big deal,” I thought. “What can a couple of AEDs cost?” A lot, as it turns out. High-quality AEDs cost $1,000+ each.

So at the beginning of 2017 we added AEDs to our “Menu of Needs” – a list of items we would promote and see if ER’s network of friends could help provide them.

But then I got greedy. One or two AEDs would be great, but what we really need was four for our Quito program. One for our Quito office building, one for the Child Development Center, one for the Quito Family Resource Center (after-school program, Women’s Program) and one for short-term work teams to take on the road.

Then, I got got even greedier. We have similar programs in Manila (Children’s Home, Golden Hands) and South Africa (Dream Center, work teams). Why not ask for AEDs for all of our programs?

So I bumped our request to eight AEDs, which meant we now had to raise $8k to fund these life-saving devices.

But the opportunities to promote AEDs never seemed to be right. There were simply larger and more urgent needs to fill. As we rolled into September, our AED need was unmet and my hope that we would be able to fund them slumped.

But then I got a text from Russ Cline, ER’s Chief Advancement Officer. He had shared this need with a friend of ER. That friend had a connection with a healthcare facility that might have a few AEDs to spare.

“How many do we need?” Russ asked.

“Eight,” I said hesitantly. “But we’ll take anything they have.” I was thinking we might get one or two units, probably old ones ready for the scrap heap.

“How about 30?” Russ said. “Most of them have never been used. They are less than two years old. They have to replace them and said we could have them all.”

Me of Little Faith

I stared the text from Russ amazed and humbled. I had nearly given up on getting even one or two AEDs.

We got 30!

One of the joys of working for Extreme Response is seeing the generous side of people, churches, businesses and organizations. The organization that donated these AEDs wants to stay anonymous. Compassionate people and organizations constantly surprise me with their willingness to give of their time, talent and resources beyond what I think is possible.

Those extra AEDs can now go to our partner organizations that work with orphans and vulnerable children, at-risk women, educational access and similar restoration-centric programs.

Update: Through Dec. 1, 2017, eight AEDs have been distributed in Quito, Manila and Cape Town, with more scheduled for distribution in 2018 to locations in Cuba, Ecuador, and Africa.