UPDATE: I understand that some of you are getting a standard reply back from Ed Rendell’s office. I got it too. Jamie and Ali want to caution you from getting angry or lashing out at Governor Rendell. Despite that standard reply, Governor Rendell IS helping the girls RIGHT NOW the best he can. Trust me when I tell you that if were not for Governor Rendell, Jamie and Ali would never have made it home the first time. Your emails to him are still serving a purpose. It’s another voice reaching out to him to keep the pressure on. If you haven’t emailed, please add your voice to the chorus. THANK YOU!
I’m going to get to that plea, but first, I want to tell you this.
During my Valentine’s Dinner with Jamie and Ali and Jonathan, a subject came up — a question.
“If it had been any other city we sought help from, would we have had the outpouring of help and national attention that we did?”
This was me and Jonathan: [SHAKING HEADS VEHEMENTLY NO SO HARD OUR BRAIN MATTER MAY HAVE SLIGHTLY DISLODGED].
Me: “I’m biased. I love this city so much, the people so much, but let me tell you, I know 100% that no other city would have done what this city did. People spent HOURS just tweeting celebrities and then when their accounts got flagged for spam, they created new accounts and kept on going. People spent hours on the phone and on the computer, contacting their representatives. I had Burghers email me all, ‘I have packed my bags. I don’t know why and I don’t know if you can use me, but I have my passport and my bags and I’m ready to rock.’ It was a Burgher with a past internship at CNN that helped get through to them. Yes, it eventually became a national effort, but it began here in Pittsburgh.”
And the girls agreed. Jamie said, “It must be true, because those children had parents all over the country who were trying so hard to get support and public outcry from their communities and NO ONE got anything close to what we got, which enabled us to get the kids here.”
Okay, you guys? I’m not making that up. That conversation happened, just like that. I swear it on my life.
Now, the plea.
Here are some pictures Jamie and Ali have taken of the last 12 orphans still at BRESMA. Yes, they’re living in tents.
I know. My heart cries too.
Here’s a message from Jamie and Ali:
“Hey Pittsburgh and friends around the world, we need your help again! There are babies dying before our eyes and something needs to be done immediately. Please please please call all of your state representatives, senators, congressmen and governors and implore them to help us save these babies lives.
When you make these calls, here are the important facts:
There are 12 children still here in BRESMA who now have adoptive families waiting for them in the United States. We have the required Haitian documents for each child. The only problem is that these children were not officially matched with their US adoptive families before the earthquake on January 12th. Hopefully someone can cut through the red tape and get the kids out of Haiti before another baby dies.
Please call and email without ceasing.
Thank you so much for your help!!
Jamie and Ali McMutrie”
So here’s what we do. We call and we say this:
“I’m [fill in your name] and I am a voter. I am calling because I am concerned about the children of BRESMA, an orphanage in Haiti run by your constituents Jamie and Ali McMutrie. The children are sick and some dying. They’re living in tents and they’re waiting on the US Government to give them clearance to leave. That hasn’t happened simply because the children weren’t matched with their waiting families prior to the earthquake. I want to know what [name of politician] is doing about this. I want to know that [he/she] cares about Jamie and Ali McMutrie, and by extension those innocent children. I would like to know that if nothing is currently being done by this office, what WILL be done starting now? This is simply red tape and I know [name of politician] has the power to cut through it easily. I want to know when [he/she] is going to get started on that?”
If you want to email, you can do that too and here’s what you can say. Change it however you like to put your own voice in it:
Have you seen these photos of the children in BRESMA in Haiti, an orphanage run by your constituents Jamie and Ali McMutrie? If not, now is the time to look at these children who are suffering and dying because of bureaucratic red tape.
The Haitian government has already signed the paperwork to release these children to the U.S. and the adoptive families they have waiting here. It’s your turn now. It is time for the United States government to step up and cut the tape and let these children come to their new, safe, plentiful homes.
One of the children is in dire need of a heart operation, without, he’ll die. The others are malnourished, sick, unhappy, and they’re all living in tents with Jamie and Ali. How can you sit by and let that continue to be? How can you not do something, anything to relieve their pain and allow Jamie and Ali to bring them home to live with the families waiting for them here in the United States?
Every second they suffer beyond now is partly the fault of the government of this prosperous country. As a voter, I am asking you to please be the hero here. Be the one that gets those children out of that horrible situation. Be the one that doesn’t turn a blind eye to the pleas of Jamie and Ali McMutrie and those 12 innocent children.
I hope to hear from you soon regarding the action you have taken on behalf of the children of BRESMA.
Now, if you’re one of those 12 adoptive families, you want to call your state representatives and senators and governors by clicking here and entering your zip code. If you’re anywhere else, you want to call Jamie and Ali’s representatives, all of whom have been involved in this process from the beginning. We urge you to call them and remind them not to forget about Haiti and BRESMA.
Senator Bob Casey Pittsburgh Office: (412) 803-7370 Washington D.C. Office: (202) 224-6324 // Toll Free: (866) 802-2833 Contact him here Senator Arlen Specter:
Pittsburgh Office: (412) 644-3400
Washington DC Office: (202) 224-4254 Web contact here Governor Edward G. Rendell: Main Office: (717) 787-2500 Web contact here
Congressman Jason Altmire: Main Office: (724) 378-0928 Washington D.C. Office: (202) 225-2565 Web contact him here Holy crap, you cannot email Jason Altmire if you are not in his district. Gotta call him, guys.
If you have a minute to make your voice heard for Jamie and Ali, to show them that they weren’t wrong when they said Pittsburghers really did go above and beyond, then please do so. If you’re not from Pittsburgh, never visited Pittsburgh, but you helped us out the first time with the first set of children, you deserve just as much credit as Burghers do, and I hope we can count on you again to make a few quick phone calls or emails.
You might think that your 10 minutes spent won’t make a difference, but it’s like Hopper said in “A Bug’s Life,” that’s right, I’M PULLING PIXAR ON YOUR ASSES:
“You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one and if they ever figure that out there goes our way of life! It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line.”
We’re the ants. We outnumber the politicians. We HAVE figured that out and it’s time we banded together and make those phone calls and emails.
This is the part in the war movie where a general or an Indian chief or a warrior sits high atop a horse as the troops crest the hill, and he pauses a moment to let the magnitude of life and death sink in. Then he thrusts that sword high up in the air and bellows, “CHARGE!”
Charge, friends. Once again for Jamie and Ali. This is life and death. One child has already died. Let’s do what we can to save the others.
This message has been approved by the McMutries and I’ll leave the comments open for the exchange of ideas. And if you could, just leave a little comment with a “Done!” or a “Called!” or an “Emailed!” or anything so I can kind of gauge how much pressure the politicians are feeling to do something, that would be awesome of you.