I was blessed to be part of the efforts to welcome to Pittsburgh 54 orphans from Haiti. There was no way for me to ever predict that such a demanding week would also be one of the most rewarding of my life.
I once again had the chance to witness the generous hearts of the people of Pittsburgh. I saw volunteers, translators, nurses and doctors spend countless hours using soft words, caring hands and loving hearts to soothe children whom they had never met before as if they were their own children.
I witnessed organizations, churches and individuals come together to bring their resources to bear for the well-being of children and creating new families. And I met two sisters, Jamie and Ali McMutrie, who challenged us all to love unconditionally by their example.
The journey of these orphans to Pittsburgh began for so many with long days of little sleep and a high demand for flexibility, patience and prayer. Those days were also days of joy and awe as they were filled with people clamoring to help in whatever way they could.
It was remarkable to watch the integration of so many individuals coming together to bring aid relief during that week. To each and every one of you - the Haitian translators; the Children's Hospital staff; the American Red Cross staff and volunteers; UPMC; the Children, Youth and Families staff and volunteers; the Catholic Charities staff and volunteers; the donors of money, clothing, infant formula and supplies; the staff from Holy Family Institute and the dedicated volunteers and groups too many to mention - I thank you for changing the lives of 54 children and for providing me with the opportunity to see "a wonderful world" in the midst of the tragedy of the Haitian earthquake.