Houston Ground Angels
Tony Castiglie, Vice President and Treasurer
In my September newsletter, I wrote that u
sually around the first day of fall, this year September 23 and formally the Autumnal Equinox, the good Lord turns on the climate switch and brings in the most pleasant weather of the year. This year however, the climate switch must have a dimmer on it because the first Canadian front is not expected to arrive until the second weekend in October. But it still beats the blizzard that has already hit Montana!
Missions Run, September – 374; previous September high, 281 in 2014
Missions Run, 2019 – 2,903; the best ever
Daily Average – 11; the best ever
Monthly Average – 323; the best ever
Annual Forecast – 3,900; the best ever
Volunteers Running Missions – 69
Unfilled Missions – 26 (1.02%); none during July, August and September
Uber Missions – 1,049; 36% of total
Thus far, we have run 2,903 missions, 48% of which are run by the Archangels, our Top 10 Volunteers. They are:
Top 10 Volunteers – 2019
Jacko Garrett 59
Bo Hunter 49
We are deeply appreciative for the dedication of all our volunteers, but take special note of Dick Stabell. January through September, there are 273 days meaning Dick has averaged more than one mission a day. And how about Gerry Rein, who continues to amaze. He just recently joined HGA, his first mission was August 5
and he has already run 128 missions. That’s more than two per day! Really special!
The real success of this organization has always been those select few who run lots of missions, some who have been with us for many years and have chalked up big numbers. The accumulative contribution of these volunteers:
All Time and Still Active
Dick Stabell 689
Mary Hutto 636
Uber continues to work out well. In 2018, we had 599 unfilled missions; thus far in 2019, we have had 26 and just two in the past six months. Uber is used only as a last resort when a mission was not chosen by a volunteer. Remember, Mission Coordinator Mary Hutto does not contact Uber until the night before a mission is to be run so it is best for the volunteers to avoid waiting until the last minute to check out “Open Missions.” Volunteers are certainly more preferable than Uber.
Thus far in 2019, Uber has satisfied 1,049 missions, about 36% of total, missions that would have gone unfilled. The huge number is due primarily to the increase in patient requests for our services. The feedback from patients has been highly favorable; many of them are impressed that we are picking-up the Uber cost when a volunteer is unavailable. However, the downside is the cost. While we are sending out grants to help cover the cost, these grants will not fund until later in the year. Let’s hope that the grants we send out are successful, because we cannot continue with Uber without them.
September 04, 2019
Dear Tony and other Houston Ground Angels,
Richard and I continue our thanks for how you help so many cancer patients and their caregivers. Knowing transportation is available to M.D. Anderson from flights eases our minds so much when we plan our visits for appointments. Your volunteers are so helpful.
Since the need is greater than the volunteers can do, you provide Uber when necessary. That, too, is a big service and I feel certain it is costly for Houston Ground Angels.
Richard and I hope our contribution will help HGA continue covering every mission needed!
Mary is wonderful and kind when I call and your volunteers are great, too.
Sandra and Richard
September 12, 2019
Houston Ground Angels,
With much gratitude for your transportation aid in getting to and from M.D. Anderson on several occasions.
Please accept this gift.
Marilyn and Herman
Delray Beach, Florida
September 21, 2019
Dear Houston Ground Angels,
Your volunteer missions are appreciated more than you know. Your selfless giving is truly a gift to all of us in need.
It eases the stress and anxiety before the appointments at M.D. Anderson to be welcomed with a warm friendly smile and interesting conversations while riding to the hotel. And that holds true from the hotel back to the airport.
Thank you for all that you do.
Have a blest day.
San Carlos, California
September brought us Kathryn Boss, a new volunteer. Kathryn resides in the Champions/FM1960 area. Welcome aboard and thank you for joining. You will find this a very rewarding experience.
As always, to every volunteer who steps up, thanks for your contribution. 2019 is looking good! I hope everyone gets to enjoy the upcoming nice weather and has a fun Halloween. Peace and love to you.