Bread of Compassion News


Bread of Compassion Domestic Humanitarian Aid 

Bread of Compassion launched OPERATION TURKEY EXPRESS this past Thanksgiving.  Dozens of volunteers helped to sort thousands of bags of groceries for over 600 families in Metrowest Boston.

Bread of Compassion purchased over 500 of these turkeys and provided low income families a complete Thanksgiving dinner which included fresh vegetables, and all the trimmings for a traditional meal.

In the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, BOC volunteers received donations from local grocery stores to help fill these baskets. Many hours were spent organizing and packing-up hundreds of food baskets.



Most of the food came through the Celebration International Church food pantry in Wayland, Massachusetts. 

The Thanksgiving food baskets were distributed by a team of volunteers on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in Wayland and in downtown Framingham.

This is an annual event that Bread of Compassion participates in to meet the needs of families in the Metrowest area of Boston


Haiti Report - March 2012

By Eleanor Gorsey, Ph.D.

While Port-au-Prince is recovering and rebuilding under their new president, the remote areas of Haiti still suffer from malnutrition and disease. For this reason, Joe Sapienza, President of Bread of Compassion, led a team of medical and service people to help the people in the remote mountain region of the western peninsula.

A 10-hour bumpy drive over nearly impassable roads led to a small mountain village – Joli Guibert. There a camp with no electricity or running water was set up. Bottled water was trucked in for the team. That night, our nurses were called to a team down the road to start IV hydration for people suffering with diarrhea and vomiting. The first medical clinic was at Tozia, a poor village, where their nurse, the Pastor’s daughter, had died. The little church where we set up the clinic had lost most of its roof and the replacement tarp did not cover all the people when it rained. Medical care, vitamins and supplies were provided to the people there.

The next day, we struggled up the mountain to Macushon (translation "pig mud"). The villagers had spent weeks laying rocks on the road so our team could access their village. Nevertheless, team members had to get off and walk up the hills so the vehicle could make it. The villagers were so happy to see us. A lot of medical care was provided, children were dewormed and given a supply of vitamins and clothing was distributed to the people.

The next day we traveled 3 miles to the coastal village of Pestel. There Doctor Philip had a small hospital with a broken water cistern, so there was no running water for the hospital. It also had to be trucked in. We paid to have the cistern repaired before the major rains and cholera season begins in April.

From there, we rode in a hand-made sail boat sitting atop bags of charcoal to Zitwa, an island village. In this village, we treated cholera and taught the village Pastor how to use simple water filters provided by Convoy of Hope to prevent more outbreaks. This village has no medical help and no school. At least 500 children are outside each day with no one to educate them. We met a young mother who had 3 children with birth defects, possibly preventable by nutrition and health care.

Deriveau, a larger village, was our final clinic. There the medical people encountered tuberculosis, aids, high blood pressure, infections and many other issues. Several people were sent to the hospital, many hours away for treatment.

Several serious cases on the trip included a woman with a blood pressure reading of 240/120 sent to the hospital, a 24 year-old man in severe pain from tuberculosis — also sent to the hospital (with with the broken cistern), 3 hours away. A baby was taken back to the orphanage in Port-au-Prince for care. People with aids were taught about their disease and sent to the hospital for medications.

 The final day, outside Port-au-Prince, we had a delightful surprise—we found 40 clean healthy children at an orphanage we visited last year. In 2010, these children had red hair, a sign of malnutrition. Last year, when we visited them with a pediatrician, many were sick. This year, they were clean, healthy and happy. The young Pastor and his wife, who took them into his run-down house after the earthquake said, "God has blessed me because I helped the children."

The medical team was led by Nancy Aguilar had a doctor, 3 nurses from MGH, and several nurses from Metrowest, Miami and Haiti. Those who would like to serve, donate or help in any way may do so by contacting Bread of Compassion.




Haiti Testimony - Sept 2011

A Mom, A Clinic and a Bread of Compassion Nurse

It was the afternoon of the last day of our week-long series of medical clinics.  I frequently walk the line of people waiting to be seen and triage those who are the sickest or most fragile, especially the elderly and the Mom’s with small children.  It often is not possible to see everyone. 

There was a Mom with three small children waiting in line in the heat of the sun.  She was taking care of the children but not complaining of the heat, as I was, or asking for anything.  She was just hoping to be seen and had a great smile on her face.  We could see that all the children had skin infections on their legs and heads.  The climate is hot and humid, and clean water and soap are scarce.  We pulled the Mom out of line and took her to wound care first, where Fabio and Carolyn bathed and shampooed the children. They applied antibiotic lotion to open sores and treated areas of yeast infections with a sulfur compound.

While we were caring for the family in wound care, a teenage girl about 16 years old with an infant came into the area and the Mom introduced her as her fifteen year old daughter. The Mom told us that the infant and the toddler who was being washed were the teenager’s babies.   After all the children had been washed and given new outfits, we filled up a bag with clothes for her to take home.  The teenage daughter also had some skin problems and we gave her soap and lotions to use at home in private to treat herself.

After wound care, the whole family was taken in and examined.  A couple of the kids needed antibiotics for their skin infections and everybody received vitamins.  Naomi, our pharmacy nurse, packed a bag for the family that included the needed antibiotics, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, Tylenol, Ibuprofen and goody bags for the kids.  With the help of our interpreter, we did medication and skin care teaching with the family and answered questions.

What we did was small, but I know that we helped this family in tangible and intangible ways.  They next day we saw the mom and she had a great big smile.  A smile means the same in every language.  JOY!

- Nancy Aguilar


Haiti Report - Sept 2011

In September of 2011, a Bread of Compassion medical team traveled to Haiti and conducted five medical clinics. Word spread very fast in each of the villages that there was a medical clinic and within minutes hundreds of people came to receive help. These villages were targeted for help because they do not have access to any medical care. Over 1,400 people were treated, and received free prescriptions. Many of the villagers were dewormed and were given vitamin supplements to take home.

Team organizer Joseph Sapienza said that "there has been little improvement in Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. Many of the survivors that have been living in tents have been relocated into tent cities in the outskirts of Port Au Prince. They are living in newly-formed communities that do not have stores, schools, medical care or normal infra-structure. The need for medical assistance has dramatically increased."

What can be done to lend help to the people of Haiti? Consider volunteering as a team member in one of our upcoming trips. You can donate funds and sponsor a doctor, nurse or volunteer to serve on a medical team. It costs Bread of Compassion $1,600.00 per team member to serve in a mobile clinic. Expenses include the purchase of medical supplies, transportation, team accommodations and translators. Our practice is to run a lean operation to make the most of every dollar spent. Administrative expenses are kept under 3% and no salaries are paid. Everyone volunteers their time and this enables Bread of Compassion to do the most good.


Haiti Video - May 2011