I FINALLY have good news.

A statement from the McMutrie family:

“We are so thrilled to be able to share with you that Ali McMutrie and the children from the Brebis de Saint-Michel de L’Attalaye (BRESMA) orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, arrived safely at Pittsburgh International Airport a short while ago.  Jamie McMutrie will be following behind shortly.  We will release a full statement as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, thank you for your support during this trying time, and please continue to keep Haiti in your thoughts.”

That? Is good news.  Finally.

I’ll post that full statement as soon as I’m permitted.





224 Comments


  1. sadinSF
    January 19, 2010 6:07 pm

    While i applaud the efforts to get these kids out of Haiti, I cant stop asking how decisions are being made over there. PA gov could go in and out of POP, while Doctors without Borders plane that carries essential equipment to save lives of hundreds if not thousands, is denied landing since Sunday.



  2. Virginia
    January 19, 2010 6:12 pm

    SadinSF,

    The Governor’s plane landed in Haiti with several tons of food, supplies, and other relief for victims of the quake. It didn’t land empty-handed.



  3. alizimm
    January 19, 2010 6:19 pm

    The plane that landed was stocked with supplies from Brother’s Brother Foundation headquartered in Pittsburgh. Here is the link to the press release on their website: http://www.brothersbrother.org/10_haitiresponse02.htm



  4. PA girl trapped in VA
    January 19, 2010 6:21 pm

    Saw this and on Fox new…brought tears to my eyes. These girls are strong and very determined. I am so proud of them for standing up for the children and not leaving them behind. Best of luck to all.



  5. Elmer Fudd
    January 19, 2010 6:26 pm

    You know, it is a real shame when people come together, bust their ass to help children, and work really hard with absolutely NO concern for awards or notice, and some people step forward and try to use this act of kindness to spew their political venom. It is a real shame. (Stepping off soapbox now)



  6. Michael Hasko
    January 19, 2010 6:31 pm

    Now that I’ve had time to come home from work, watch some of the news, and have time to think about what just happened, I have to confess something.

    During the early moments of all this, I didn’t think anything would come of it. “It’s too big, there’s way too much chaos there that a few voices from The Burgh are going to get drowned out.”

    I’m not generally this pessimistic, I truly hoped for the best, but didn’t think this was going to come to something. I did what I could, donated to Red Cross the first 48 hours after the quake, but had my doubts there’d be any more to this story.

    Around the time I was stopping by North Ave. on Saturday, that had changed. The momentum of a few people from a blog, then a few more from Twitter, then a few more, then a few more, until few became an army of Good, it has surprised me and amazed me. I’ve always done what I can to help out others, but I never imagined something like this could be done.

    Those of you who seemed to have bent the will of the universe with your sheer force of belief and never faltering from it, from Ginny and family to the silent blog reader, thank you. I am humbled by what you’ve done, and what, I hope, we will continue to do.



  7. Sooska
    January 19, 2010 6:43 pm

    Ginny- this is doubly amazing considering based on what I have seen and read about the conditions at the airport there: one runway, a temporary fill-in ATC tower; inexperienced air traffic control operators and some countryies aircraft jamming up the runway by taking time with photo ops. The US military only took over ATC Sunday because the Haitians there were out of their league with all the aircraft on scene and in the air. I saw a report that the smaller private-type aircraft were “jumping line” to land and landing without specific clearances and the naval officers were sure there would be a disaster there at the runway. They ordered all aircraft to leave and depart within 2 hours including offload and reload times, and to have necessary clearances to land, with suitably rested crews, etc. Not much opportunity for getting things organized and operative.

    How wonderful that they all succeeded.



  8. Pman's heart
    January 19, 2010 6:44 pm

    I introduced my friend to this crisis in the first few days of Ginny’s updates – since he is strongly connected to the computer world and I thought maybe he could help with plane connection suggestions. He said to me “This is America, this is what we do” and it overwhelmed me in hindsight. He was so casual about it, but he was right. This IS what we do. And it’s not just Americans but it’s Pittsburghers, where the best and most compassionate congregate to make the world a better place.

    We have a strong history of philanthropy and foundations; cultural, science, and humanitarian; and I never want to leave (after living here for 6 years). Bring it Ginny and we will happily answer the call.



  9. Jennifer
    January 19, 2010 7:15 pm

    YOU Ginny are an amazing person. Your blog connected so many people together and you have to know that contributed to those kids being here tonight. Jamie and Ali are two heros. Their strength is a testament to true love. This story is amazing, heartwarming and without a doubt the most selfless action I have ever seen.



  10. L-A
    January 19, 2010 7:40 pm

    churchity church church church.



  11. redram1
    January 19, 2010 8:29 pm

    Lukey Luke needs to shine up that key to the city!



  12. Jane Armstrong
    January 19, 2010 8:33 pm

    What strength and courage!! We thank you all!!

    I am not sure what the proper channels are for fostering or adopting, but our family of 4 in Maine is ready and willing. We have been thinking about adoption for a few years and when I saw this, I thought that there is no better need than right here, right now.
    Please email and let me know what I need to do to connect with your organization.
    I have family in Pittsburgh as well.
    In gratitude and support-
    Jane



  13. cmd_45
    January 19, 2010 8:48 pm

    All I can say is that you were instrumental in getting these people here. The McMurtrie’s are so brave ans I cannot imagine what they have been through. Congratulations on a job very well and compassionately done.



  14. Bojack
    January 19, 2010 8:53 pm

    Awesome, truly awesome!!! :-)



  15. Kim L
    January 19, 2010 9:32 pm

    Now THAT’s Church…. Congrats Ginny. Now please get some sleep.



  16. JenniMarie
    January 19, 2010 9:39 pm

    Thank you so much making everyone aware of what was happening and encouraging others to get involved with contacting government officials. Prayers have been answered with the that start of the return of such wonderful people and the beautiful children! Thank you again so much! If I knew where a secret stockpile of Zima was kept it would be in your hands tomorrow!!



  17. Nina
    January 19, 2010 9:54 pm

    words fail to express my gratitude, joy, and, appreciation for the efforts of you, virginia, and everyone else responsible for this amazing rescue.

    ali and jamie have my unwavering respect and support for as long as they continue their truly awe-inspiring work in haiti. they are the true heros of this unbelievable saga. in my mind, they are equal to the efforts of what dr. paul farmer does in haiti with his medical work.



  18. AnitaF
    January 19, 2010 10:20 pm

    I dvr’d Pittsburgh Today Live & just watched their arrival. I cried. What a wonderful day!! Thanks Ginny for keeping us updated.



  19. USCMike
    January 19, 2010 10:23 pm

    The only word that truly fits today is ‘Amen’; our prayers have been answered!!

    The orphans are now safe here in the best city in America and the two angels that have watched over them will soon be reunited, back home, with their family.

    This kind of awesome story basically sums up what makes Pittsburgh, and its’ people, the best in the world!!

    Thanks go to Ginny and all of the folks involved in this rescue effort. I think they showed the nation, if not the world, what this town is capable of, and we’re not some dirty, old steel town, nor one composed of just Steeler fans. Instead, this area is constituted by caring, compassionate people who’ll go to any lengths to rescue our own, and those they love.

    BRAVO!!

    And remember to keep praying for the rest of the Haitian people!



  20. feefifoto
    January 19, 2010 10:30 pm

    Heard this story on NPR. Yay!



  21. Amy S
    January 20, 2010 12:00 am

    I am so happy to hear of the good news. My husband & I would love to be able to help one of the remaining children who do not have an adopted home yet. Is there any information you can give us on where we should begin our journey towards this path. These kids deserve so much love and support and we are overwhelmingly ready to give it to them. Thanks so much Amy S.



  22. Scott R Priester
    January 20, 2010 12:01 am

    Someone mentioned an article in the Post Gazette. All I could find while using search is this

    http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/earlyreturns/archive/2010/01/19/on-haiti-orphans-amp-politics.aspx

    It mentions another blogger getting involved after reading the “coverage” here.

    My concern is, as always, many of you are hailing Ms Montanez as a hero, like she had some major role in this. I’ve followed all of the information that was released (and oddly enough, immediately pulled) and have been glued to print and on air media, and there has been no mention of her role in any of this. I really question her use of the word “we” in reference to coordinating the flight of the children to the US.



  23. Bethany
    January 20, 2010 2:07 am

    Someone posted this on Bram’s blog, and I think it’s apropos in reply to the last comment… ‘More gets done when nobody takes the credit.’ I like it, and my guess is there’s a fair bit of that stepping into the background going on here… we’d probably benefit from even more of it.

    Thank you Ginny, for as always giving us Burghers the chance to come together and be the awesome city we are. I don’t think there’s any hero worship going on — just praise for using your powers for good :) Many of us know you put a lot of hard work into this, and I think you have been a class act through this and I know you will remain one. And thank you to everyone at the grassroots level that put so much work into this. Many, many of us out there will not forget it.

    The kids are here, they are safe, and that’s what matters.



  24. Tiger Woods
    January 20, 2010 2:58 am

    hey scott r, why go ruin things by talking about what actually happened? :)



  25. Jay Leno
    January 20, 2010 4:18 am

    furthermore, speaking of credit, am i the only one to notice that marybeth buchanan got thrown under the bus? all accounts indicate how involved she was, then.. that quote she had about “not being previously aware” of the plane to haiti took off spoke volumes. combine that with altmire is front and center for the ride and photo op?? 2010 election hmmm, just **who was** thinking about challenging him??



  26. Bojack
    January 20, 2010 6:32 am

    Scott, you are such a STUPID person I almost,

    I said almost,

    am going to feel guilty for kicking your ass up and down Ellsworth Ave!!!



  27. Elmer Fudd
    January 20, 2010 6:34 am

    Jay Leno, See #154…Scott R. Priester, The reason you can not find anything is because you are a walking piece of human shit…



  28. Scott R Priester
    January 20, 2010 8:11 am

    Say what you will,but I’m hard pressed to find anything at all affiliating her with anything from this operation. Think about it, all you have done is look at your computer screen, just as I have done, and see her pass along information, then for some strange reason, remove it immediately. Very strange.

    You see her as a “hero”.

    I see her taking advantage of a disaster to get her name out there, and in the end, her name didn’t get any further than the blogosphere. If she had any kind of major role in this, her name would be all over the media.



  29. butcher's dog
    January 20, 2010 8:26 am

    OK, Scott R. Priester, by your “reasoning” Fat Eddie…er, Governor Rendell…was the lead horse in this team because he was on the plane? Puh..leaze. None of those guys do anything unless they’re prodded heavily from behind. You didn’t hear Ron Burkle’s name a lot in the presidential election race, but you can be damned sure he was heavily involved. Mainstream media is more interested in showing Katie Couric hugging kids in tents than in digging to find out what really happened.



  30. Karyn
    January 20, 2010 8:35 am

    all you guys who are fighting quit it!
    You must not have seen the print interview about the 30 some people camped outside of the building because they knew supplies were coming, and wanted to get to them before our girls. All the attention that was doing good here, was putting them in danger there. So ginny, i totally understand why everything was taken down.
    Anyone who tells you otherwise, ignore them and know there are people out there who TRULY appreciate what you (and the rest of Pittsburgh) have done.



  31. LB
    January 20, 2010 8:38 am

    #174: I noted that too, with great interest. That woman got hip-checked hard. As much as the efforts of Altmire and Rendell are appreciated, it’s also evident that there was a strong, strong effort to make sure theirs were the faces associated with this success. Sad footnote to the story, but true. Politics at their finest….



  32. I Love Pittsburgh
    January 20, 2010 8:39 am

    Scott R. Priester, it seems to me that Virginia has done everything BUT take advantage of this awful situation to get her name out there. She did, however, use her blog to get Jamie and Ali’s name out there.

    Maybe someday Virginia will share the whole story with us and it will shut you up. But if I had to guess, even if she shares the story with us and cites her references and provides you a bibliography of her sources, you’d still call her a liar.

    Perhaps if you spent less time trolling this blog to find things to be offended at, you’d be a happier person. I suggest you find a hobby. Maybe needlepoint or crochet. I hear they are incredibly relaxing. Or maybe you just need more fiber in your diet.



  33. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 20, 2010 8:50 am

    @ #181 Nothing will shut him up. He will always be a buzzkill. Part of me agrees though that Ginny shouldnt be nominated to sainthood just yet but she was a force in getting word out and keeping us updated.

    @ #180 I thought about that yesterday and then heard Marybeth Buchanon on KDKA at lunch time and she was being prodded to speak badly of Fast Eddie and the democrats involved. She wouldnt and was more concerned about the kids getting somewhere safe. I know Fast Eddie is a lame duck…but whats the status with Altmire? Is his term up too?



  34. YinzerInExile
    January 20, 2010 8:51 am

    Ginny: a.maz.ing. Truly. I hope you are sleeping the sleep of of the Zima-soaked do-gooder, because you have done unfathomable amounts of good. Congratulations and thank you for electing to use your powers for good.

    Scott: You again? Really? Was someone turned down for a date to the homecoming dance? :P

    I suppose that none of us not directly involved know precisely what’s gone down, which leaves us (per my estimation) at a crossroads. I’m guessing that the majority of us who were just nonchalantly checking That’s Church at the point Ginny released the battle cry, and subsequently followed all the posts that were eventually remove will elect to take the fork in the road that leads to Ginnyselflesslydoneagoodthingville, via the amazinguseofsocialnetworking pass. It’s only natural that there will also be sad, mean, lonely, homecoming date-less people out there electing, instead, to see a conspiracy theory.

    Personally, I think Vegas would put odds on Ginny’s extreme benevolence.



  35. Heidi for Haiti
    January 20, 2010 8:57 am

    Thanks be to a God that hears prayers, hears our cries,and knows the desires or our hearts! I truly wished to have seen Giiny or Diane or Chad McMutrie standing behind Ali at the press conference, but so the political wheel turns. By the way all those families willing to adopt Haitian children…our adopted daughter at 6 weeks old looked just like those beautiful orphans from Haiti and came from a land called Pittsburgh…don’t let the feelings that this crisis revealed to you turn numb….racial reconcilliation is messy and deliberate and involves sacrifice.



  36. Chris
    January 20, 2010 8:58 am

    Does anyone else think it’s odd that Ginny hasn’t posted any further updates? Is she okay?

    I’m just kinda of surprised that she hasn’t weighed in on yesterday’s incredible news. That’s all.



  37. Virginia
    January 20, 2010 9:01 am

    Chris,

    I’m okay. I’m not posting anything until Jamie is safely in Pittsburgh with the final child.



  38. JeanC
    January 20, 2010 10:13 am

    Never underestimate the power of Pittsburgh-ers. Yinz rock.



  39. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 20, 2010 10:25 am

    Look forward to hearing an update Ginny! Cant wait for Jamie and the last kid is here in the Burgh…later this AM is what Im hearing



  40. Chris
    January 20, 2010 10:28 am

    Ginny….good. Hopefully that will be today. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    Chris



  41. Jaime
    January 20, 2010 10:37 am

    Thanks Ginny! =)

    I don’t care what haters have to say, you have been wonderful through this whole situation, and i’m sure Jamie and Ali’s family are so grateful you were willing your pre-established online voice for this cause!



  42. Jaime
    January 20, 2010 10:38 am

    *to use your pre-established online voice for this cause.

    :)
    Sorry!



  43. spoon
    January 20, 2010 11:08 am

    Scott R Priester… As a duly designated representative of Pittsburgh, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.

    In other words, quit being an attention whore.



  44. Penny Lane
    January 20, 2010 11:08 am

    As I watch continued coverage on Haiti, it only amazes me more and more that the kids from the orphanage were able to be saved and brought to Pittsburgh safely. Truly a miracle.
    Congrats to all invloved in the efforts – it really took a village to make it happen. Welcome home Ali and Jamie!

    I’ve said this before, but Scott R Priester = Dwight K Shrute. He becomes much more entertaining in that voice ;)



  45. Horseshoebend
    January 20, 2010 11:26 am

    If you said a prayer or lit a candle, donated money,food, clothing, contacted a politician – it doesn’t matter the what, where or how. You contributed in a positive way to the cause. If you have a self serving agenda ala politicians so be it but it still doesn’t change the positive aspect of contributing and we should all not loose sight of how fortunate we are in comparision to those suffering in Haiti today – right now.

    But life goes on – Let’s continue our efforts to help those suffering and in need wherever we are at all times but also return to our lives,children, families in our beloved Pgh – return to our lives and those who need us here. So come on Virginia, gives us what we need – how bout a randon n’at to start.



  46. meiling
    January 20, 2010 11:40 am

    Fantastic work everyone! Now let’s throw some energy to the rest of Haiti! Well done, ‘burghers!



  47. Di
    January 20, 2010 12:04 pm

    We miss you Ginny!
    How ’bout those Pens!



  48. rose
    January 20, 2010 12:05 pm

    ginny, you’re a class act. thank you for doing it for the kids.



  49. Museumpro
    January 20, 2010 12:21 pm

    PG has posted the backstory: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10020/1029525-82.stm

    Is this accurate?



  50. Sooska
    January 20, 2010 12:24 pm

    @ Penny Lane- at least Dwight Schrute owns a beet farm onto which he can sow manure.