The Flying Samaritans

David Simmonds

It’s hard to turn on the TV these dark days without hearing depressing news. The world economy is in the crapper, the polar ice caps are melting like a sno-cone in a sauna, our Constitution has been witch-slapped and the damn Phillies won the World Series. It makes one long for those halcyon days when our national obsession was a stained blue dress. Was that really just nine years ago? And why are Letterman and Leno still doing Monica jokes? You’ve got Harvard-trained comedy writers and that’s the best you can do?

Anyway, if your mojo is in a deep funk, be reminded that there are still some good people out there doing stuff that needs to be done. One such fine group is the Flying Samaritans (no, Sally Fields isn’t involved). They are comprised of mostly medical people who spend their free time traveling into Baja, by small plane and sometimes road vehicles, to provide health care, surgery and education to people with no medical facilities, no money and surely no hope. And, oh yeah, they don’t charge a peso for doing this. (you hedge fund managers can pick yourselves up off the floor now).

Started quite by accident in 1961, the organization now numbers 1500 volunteers that serve 19 clinics throughout Baja California’s most impoverished communities. They have grown to 10 chapters including 7 in California, two in Arizona and one in Baja. They do accept donations and volunteers, so if you have any money left buried in the back yard, or if you just want to feel good about yourself (guaranteed), please take a look at their web site and learn more about how you can help. And have a good Thanksgiving.