Stepping away.

There’s a story here.  There’s so much to tell and honestly, I don’t know where to start.  So I’m not going to for right now.

My work is done and your work is done. Watch the mainstream media from here on out as I’m sure they will raise Jamie and Ali up to be the heroes they ABSOLUTELY are.  These girls have a bravery and selflessness that I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend.

I am not a hero and I can say that with 100% confidence and don’t argue with me.  I was charged with bringing awareness to their plight and issuing pleas as immediate needs arose.  It doesn’t matter how loud I screamed; if no one was there to hear me, I never made a sound.  You heard and you sprang into action and that makes YOU the social media hero.  I was invited by Jamie and Ali to visit them at the hospital this afternoon.  I have seen the children and they are so happy and well taken care of right now.  You should be so proud of this day.

When I can, I’ll explain to you why there was so much secrecy regarding so many things, why I wouldn’t confirm certain things the media was reporting.  I’ll tell you about the chaos, the terror, the tears, the criticism, and I will also tell you how Jonathan Wander is a real life superhero.  Through all of this, he and I have experienced together some of the lowest of lows and even more lows until finally, FINALLY, the highest of highs. Complete with lots of crying. He and I are bound together for life.  I can’t speak for him, but I know that for me, this week has changed me as a person.

Now …

I have been dead to my husband, to my family, and to my children for five days now, or six? Seven? I don’t know.  I have done practically nothing but sit at my computer and talk on my phone.  Like others behind the scenes, I would wake up, blink, eat lunch, blink, and look at the clock to realize it is 2:00 a.m. and at some point in time, my husband put my children to bed and he’s sound asleep, too.  Lather, rinse, and repeat.  I’m not writing that to complain or to brag.  I’m writing that so that you’ll understand the next thing I’m going to say …

I will not be posting here at That’s Church for a week to give me time to process everything that has happened. Too much to take in right now. It seems surreal.  Did it really happen?  I almost got run over by a toy truck today, zoomed at me across the floor with great speed by a young Haitian.  I guess it really happened.

Well done, readers.  I’ll write you a proper and gushing thank you when my brain starts working again.

For now, I just want to put my head down without paralyzing fear for the survival of the children of BRESMA.

Haiti still suffers.


  1. Sooska
    January 21, 2010 8:45 am

    I think any political talk right in these blog comments is a foul that sullies the subject matter. You two are disgusting. Shut up.

    Thanks Ginny.

  2. John Franco
    January 21, 2010 8:50 am

    Enjoy your well-deserved rest. Hero or not, you still rock.

  3. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 21, 2010 8:53 am

    See ya Ginny….enjoy the time off! And an additional thanks to Mary Beth Buchanon for getting the ball rolling !

  4. papergirl
    January 21, 2010 8:59 am

    Kudo, sleep. . . and I am thrilled but not surprised these heroics happened because of people from Pittsburgh!

  5. Laura
    January 21, 2010 9:04 am

    Thank you so much for making me aware of this story and keeping me updated. I don’t watch tv or the news so you became my news. Thanks for all you have done and the part you played in bringing those children to safety.

    Enjoy your rest!

  6. jennviolet
    January 21, 2010 9:19 am

    Agree w/everyone above (except maybe this TG person). Tears of concern have been replaced by tears of joy. I love this city and it’s people so much. Huge hugs to everyone out there.

  7. jennviolet
    January 21, 2010 9:20 am

    Props to butcher’s dog. Nuff said.

  8. Kris
    January 21, 2010 9:39 am

    You completely deserve the break. I’m looking forward to your return when you are ready!

  9. Martin Silenus
    January 21, 2010 9:42 am

    Enjoy the well deserved rest. Ginny. I’ve been following this story quietly, and with amazement. Very proud to be a Pittsburgher right now.

  10. Rosie Blankenship
    January 21, 2010 9:57 am

    You should be very proud of yourself. Everyone who was any little piece of this puzzle should be proud of themselves. You did good work, Ginny. The world needs more people like you. Take care.

  11. JudiB
    January 21, 2010 10:17 am

    Thank you, Virginia. Now get some sleep. We’ll all be here when you’re ready.

  12. oldgraymare
    January 21, 2010 10:33 am

    Sometimes extraordinary people spend so much time trying to be ordinary they forget how special they themselves really are…

    You may not see yourself as a hero, but you will always be one to those children. Take your well deserved rest and enjoy your blessings!

  13. BrooklynD3175
    January 21, 2010 11:11 am

    You may think that your role in this was next to nothing, but without you, word would not have spread so quickly, and without you to prod us, your readers, the politcal wheels would not have turned so quickly. No, you didn’t sign the paperwork. But you did something even greater: you got us all INVOLVED. You marshalled the troops and made us see what a difference we all could make in this world by reaching out and connecting with others for a cause. THAT itself makes you a hero, at least in my eyes.

  14. G-Man
    January 21, 2010 11:55 am

    Ginny – I will respect your wishes and not call you a hero even though we all know you are. There are lots of them in this saga.
    What I want to say it this thought that crossed my mind about the time and effort you put into this. I know when you “came out” as PittGirl and ultimately lost your job, you must have had doubts about what you did and the price you paid in becoming unemployed.
    Think about this. If you had not done all that you would never have had the time to become such an important conduit of information and part of the BRESMA story.
    They say things happen for a reason and the smiling faces of those children are the proof of that today.

  15. Sarah
    January 21, 2010 11:57 am

    Enjoy your well deserved rest. Thank you.

  16. Margie
    January 21, 2010 12:52 pm

    Relax, spend time with the family, enjoy a glass of wine and know that we are all thankful for everything you and the girls have done.

  17. Anne
    January 21, 2010 1:06 pm

    To all involved in this story – Take a pause to realize your accomplishments and regain your strength. There is much work to be done once the media attention dies down. There will be an orphanage to rebuild and many, many more orphans to care for. Understand your Pittsburgh family is here to help in any way we can. Please in your posts inform us of what happened in the past but more importantly of what we can do for the future.

  18. Bridgid
    January 21, 2010 1:16 pm

    Sweet dreams…when you wake up, there’ll be more to do. Thank you for your part in all this. Remember folks, its not over in Haiti…keep on it…

  19. cathy
    January 21, 2010 1:22 pm

    We knew you could!! will miss you, but take care of yourself and your family so we can have you back all refreshed soon. Take Care

  20. CR
    January 21, 2010 1:35 pm

    Trying not to be too critical here, but surely you can use this as a learning experience and see that some of the things presented here were a bit over the top, ie asking for planes and stating emphatically the children were cleared to come to the USA when you really had no idea how complex it was.
    In hindsight maybe getting the masses involved does nothing but stir up panic and hysteria, and hinder the efforts of the people who were working on it already, that actually had the resources to make it happen.
    My biggest issue comes from when criticism started showing up about other people carelessly spreading rumors when it was obviously happening on your site/twitter; A bit hypocritical don’t you think?
    Bottom line: Jamie an Ali are amazing women and I thank you for bringing my attention to them. On the local effort, food, supplies, etc, where you were most effective, great work. Maybe next time you will use your resources a bit more carefully and tamp down some of the hysteria.

  21. Virginia
    January 21, 2010 1:53 pm

    I love it that you start out with “trying not to be to critical” and then flat out call me a hypocrite. Every single thing I posted was at the time what I WAS ASKED TO POST. I never once just upped and posted anything on my own. Only when my phone rang and the family asked me to post something, did I. At the time, yes, all 150 were cleared. At the time, yes, it was a plane that was needed. Everything I wrote was cleared on the back-end BEFORE I posted it. If it seemed hysterical, that’s because things were changing from moment to moment and the family was working EVERY avenue they could to save their daughters’ lives and the lives of those children.

    What would you have me do? When they come to me and say all 150 are cleared and we need a plane, shall I say, well, let me do some research on the complexities of that and get back to you before I decide whether or not to post it on my blog? Hell, no. Time was of the essence and I’m not about to tell them no in that situation.

  22. Scott R Priester
    January 21, 2010 1:54 pm

    CR, I agree with you. I found this on another Pittsburgh Blog.

    “When Ginny first said she needed help, that she needed everybody who could see her message to start reaching out, I knew she would accomplish her mission. I knew she would find a way to get a plane to Haiti and that she would get the kids to safety.

    And, of course, she did.”

    In the paragraph, where it says “And, of course, she did”, a link is included to the Post Gazatte showing the plane landing, as if to say she was responsible for this.

  23. Virginia
    January 21, 2010 2:13 pm

    Scott, your obsession with me is really starting to get unhealthy if you’re not only trolling MY blog just so you can criticize me, but you’re now trolling blogs that mention me just so you can criticize me based on what OTHER people are saying about me.

    I went back and read through all of the comments you have left on my site. Over and over again for ages now, insulting me, insulting others, constantly saying how very much you hate my blog. I’m about to make your day, then.

    My paradigm has shifted. Life is too short. You are hereby banned.

  24. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 21, 2010 2:14 pm

    Oh crap…Priester said something

    Here it comes….

  25. Captain Hankaroo
    January 21, 2010 2:15 pm

    Love and a big warm hug

  26. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 21, 2010 2:16 pm


    Sleep well Ginny!

  27. Dan
    January 21, 2010 2:17 pm

    Rest well Ginny … and dream of pigeons

  28. Politicalpartypooper
    January 21, 2010 2:57 pm


    “I thank you for bringing my attention to them”

    Are you looking for an ‘atta boy’? Are you telling all of the people here that this couldn’t have happened without you?


    Now say “thank you”, to Ginny, and do it without criticizing her.

  29. butcher's dog
    January 21, 2010 2:57 pm

    Ginny, I’m pretty sure I speak for the vast majority of your readers when I say, in regards to a recent banning, “What took you so long?!”

    As far as I’m concerned you’re the best-hearted person I almost know and I worship you from afar.

  30. Lesley
    January 21, 2010 3:09 pm

    You and everyone else will always be considered heroes in my mind.
    Rest up. And before you come back I will email you a story about dead pigeons that will give you warm fuzzies.
    And, as for banning Scott, I agree with butcher’s dog. What took you so long?

  31. Monsterquads
    January 21, 2010 3:12 pm

    Beam me up, Scottie! Buh bye now. Nice job Ginny.

  32. Scott R. Priester's New A-hole
    January 21, 2010 3:18 pm

    Hi. I’m torn.


    More importantly, what a great story this has been. I am truly impressed.

  33. JenEngland
    January 21, 2010 3:22 pm

    I like the new edgier Ginny. You tell em. Now that the kids are safe people will come out of the woodwork to take credit and criticize. What. Ever. If everyone, everywhere, put as much effort into saving (literally!) a small group of people in crisis, the world would be a lot less shitty place. So yeah, not a perfect effort. But 54 kids alive and off to a better future. So yinz that want to do nothing but criticize can bite me too.

  34. SpudMom
    January 21, 2010 3:24 pm

    @#83 – Well played, sir. Well played.

  35. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 21, 2010 3:39 pm

    @ #83 LMAO!

  36. SC 'Burgher
    January 21, 2010 3:39 pm

    Maybe everyone should “friend” Mr. Priester on Facebook and leave him comments on his status.

    That would be fun.

  37. OldNorthSider
    January 21, 2010 3:53 pm

    OMG Ginny. Step away. Rest. Ignore the comments. The brave pioneers were the ones who always got the arrows. My mom always told me to “consider the source” when I felt like I was attacked or criticized by cruel comments. Sounds like a bit of jealousy to me. You are a bigger person than banning some anonymous twit from playing in your sandbox. Go spend some time w/ your children and be thankful that they have warm beds, loving parents, & a place to call home.

  38. Michael Armbrust
    January 21, 2010 4:26 pm

    For those of us that hang on your every word, please know we are sooooo proud of you and everything you have done and gone through for these children. Know that we will all be here when you get back. God bless, and take care of your family!

  39. Karyn
    January 21, 2010 4:28 pm

    Wow, gone for a day and i miss all the fun. Hopefullly Ginny is having a good day with her kids, and we won’t hear from that **** anymore. :)

  40. ILiveJustUp28
    January 21, 2010 5:11 pm

    DING DONG the troll is dead…ooorrrr at least banned!

    Congrats, Virginia! Good decisions all around! Prayers of rest for you and your family this week.

  41. Ant Annie
    January 21, 2010 5:26 pm

    You move mountains when the need arises – great job, your majesty. Take a well-deserved rest. You have done those kids and Pittsburgh proud!

  42. Jennifer
    January 21, 2010 6:46 pm

    If you can’t appreciate the beauty of 54 orphans from Haiti being brought to this county without negativity, you shouldn’t be here. Playing the “Devil’s Advocate” doesn’t help anyone and it’s certainly not serving the better good. Ginny did nothing but help and whether it’s acknowledged in the press or not, doesn’t matter for her because she doesn’t need the press to validate HER.

    Most people on here don’t even know Ginny IRL and we still have respect for her BECAUSE she tried to help and she acted. We are all free thinking people reading this blog and if the vast majority of people who read this blog have respect for what she did … then your disparaging remarks about her intentions say a whole lot about YOU.

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

  43. RIZZO
    January 21, 2010 7:31 pm

    You Virginia, are a hero in my book. You brought important information to the masses in a way the the media couldn’t, or wouldn’t. Jamie and Ali were the greatest heroes here, but your supporting roll was no less impressive. You rest Ginny, you’ve definately earned it. Sweet dreams.

  44. faithful reader
    January 21, 2010 7:35 pm

    Virginia, heroes are rarely heroes in their own eyes. You became one in mine this week. Rest well.

  45. toni
    January 21, 2010 7:57 pm

    two words…thank you.

  46. TeeGee
    January 21, 2010 10:39 pm

    >>I will not be posting here at That’s Church for a week to give me time to process everything that has happened.<<

    somebody be fibbing!

    Rendell and Altmire are the TRUE heros. No matter what their reasons were, they are the TRUE SAVIOURS of those children

    There should be no denial, that what ever lead up to them being involved, that without them there would not have been a happy ending.

    No disrespect to anyone who participated… just the facts.

  47. L-A
    January 21, 2010 11:17 pm

    Virginia ~ I, too, hope you enjoy your week off. As we all know, you can never please everyone (see: TeeGee and the banned Priester tool), but it doesn’t effing matter, because you’re just like Ali and Jamie. You volunteered to do this job. You didn’t have to do what you did, but you did. Some people (see: above-mentioned douchebags) will never know the kind of love you have to have in your heart to volunteer at a Haitian orphanage or to shut yourselp off from your family so that some person you never met can become a parent to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have a shot in hell of making it in this world. You’re one amazing chick, as are Jamie and Ali. See you in a week!

  48. mfj
    January 21, 2010 11:46 pm

    Hey! I thought you were supposed to be resting! Do we all have to come over there to make sure you get to sleep? Because we totally will!

    I hope you reconsider banning Scott Priester. Watching him make an ass of himself was part of the fun of coming here.

  49. red pen mama
    January 22, 2010 6:19 am

    Get some rest. You deserve it.