When it rains …

… it pours, and of course once I get to update you on Jamie and Ali, MORE information rolls in.

Jamie and Ali went to Philadelphia last week to visit with Jean Griffith and Ross Haskell and their son Alex. Alex will be two in August and he was one of the children that Jamie and Ali cared for at the orphanage in Haiti. They brought him home on the rescue flight with Governor Rendell. Ross Haskell was very active in the behind the scenes efforts during that week as he of course was terrified for his young son. You may remember their story when it appeared on CNN.

Jean, Ross and Alex currently live in Kansas but were in Philadelphia visiting family.  Jamie and Ali were able to join the family in Philadelphia and even stayed with Jean’s relatives, as lots of aunts and uncles and cousins wanted to meet them.

In addition, Jean, Ross, Alex, Jamie and Ali spent an hour and a half visiting with Governor Rendell for some play time at a local park.

Jean is a member of the board of directors of Jamie and Ali’s organization Haitian Orphan Rescue, and Governor Rendell has personally expressed his support to Jamie and Ali.  While they were all together, he asked to be filled in on the plans for the new orphanage, and Jamie and Ali were pleased to give him the latest updates, particularly about the generosity of Massaro and Chester.

His support has been and continues to mean so much to Jamie and Ali.  In the months since the rescue, he has followed up with Jamie and Ali regarding the children, asking about specific kids by name.  As he said in his budget address, “Playing a small part in rescuing these children has been the most personally rewarding experience of my 40 years in public life,” but his part wasn’t small. There are certain people that I consider untouchable on my blog and Governor Rendell is now one of them. Someday you will hear the moving story of how Ed Rendell saved young Haitian lives. I will never forget hearing about his actions on an airport tarmac in a weeping Haiti. Ever.

So, that’s the latest. As Calvin once said famously to his mom, “Further bulletins as events warrant.”


  1. Jake
    June 28, 2010 4:32 pm

    One philanthropic effort a saint does not make.

    Rendell is an ass, and even if he weren’t an ass no politician should ever receive a journalistic carte blanche – they’re just too erratic for it…

  2. Virginia
    June 28, 2010 4:47 pm

    Yet, I have that luxury here on my blog, because I’m not a journalist.

  3. Pensgirl
    June 28, 2010 4:47 pm

    Jake, Ginny isn’t a journalist. She has no responsibility to anyone other than herself. One person can’t fight every battle on earth anyway, so there’s really no point in whining about which battles this one particular person chooses.

    Ginny, thanks for passing on this update. Great to see that Alex is doing well and that his parents and Rendell have stayed involved in Jamie and Ali’s efforts.

  4. Meh
    June 28, 2010 6:01 pm

    Hell, it’s nice to know in 40 years he actually gave a damn other than someone but himself.

  5. annietiques
    June 28, 2010 6:25 pm

    I have goosebumps all over!!!! I am sooooo proud of Jamie & Ali!

    Great update Ginny…..thank you

  6. empirechick
    June 28, 2010 6:25 pm

    Rendell doesn’t do anything if he doesn’t think there’s something in it for him, politically or otherwise. Thank goodness his egotism and back room dealing finally worked to benefit someone who truly needed it, rather than his usual insider cronies.

  7. BeauJacques
    June 28, 2010 7:19 pm

    What empirechick said. Word.

  8. bucdaddy
    June 28, 2010 8:15 pm

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Ed Rendell looks like the guy your bookie sends to your door with a “reminder” that you’re two weeks behind in your payments.

  9. Jonathan
    June 28, 2010 8:54 pm

    I feel bad that some of the earlier comments must have been accidentally cut short. (Those gosh darn tech glitches!) I’m sure those commenters must have written were things like, “But politics aside, it’s so moving to see that beautiful family together” and “Politics can’t be my focus, though, when I see that family together with the rescuers. Alex looks so happy and healthy. It’s fantastic!”

  10. Bob
    June 28, 2010 9:10 pm

    As you get older in life and start to see friends die of natural causes it gives one pause to reflect on what actually happens when you die. Fast Eddie is in that phase of life now. And my faith, which is different from his, at least teaches me that God is all-forgiving.

    That said, my guess is he’s got some serious time in Purgatory ahead of him – because the man is nothing more than a thug. And if you’d spend a day in Harrisburg listening to the stories you’d think the same thing, one dramatic good deed aside.

  11. Jake
    June 29, 2010 10:31 am

    Sorry, Ginny, not trying to troll the comments, just attempting to make the point that declaring somebody like Rendell untouchable on your blog of all-things-right-and-good is unexpected.

    I was also not trying to preseume that you have some duty to be impartial in your writings on your blog – I’m well aware that this is your property and your opinion reigns – but English hasn’t supplied a much better word than “journalism” and so I have to claim the AHD definition of “Written material of current interest or wide popular appeal.”

  12. jmarinara
    June 29, 2010 10:59 am

    I happen to think that Ed Rendell might be the worst thing, politically, to happen to the commonwealth in the past century.

    But even I have to admit that what he’s done with Jamie and Ali is very admirable and he ought to be commended for truly serving the public in this case. Furthermore, the fact that he would be so personally invested as to take an hour and a half in a park to play with the kid and talk to the family, is plain awesome.

    Kudos to Mr. Rendell.

  13. Herbie
    June 29, 2010 7:50 pm

    “Rendell doesn’t do anything if he doesn’t think there’s something in it for him, politically or otherwise.”

    This is extremely offensive to me and I can tell you that Jamie and Ali or anybody else on that flight would find it the same way.

    I was on that original trip to go and rescue the children back in January, as well as two other follow up trips with the girls. Governor Rendell and his wife were instrumental in that first trip and I can tell you they didn’t do it for any sort of political reasons. They did it because they are truly good people with amazing hearts. They were personally involved in making this happen and were 100% committed to bringing all of those children home just like Jamie and Ali and the rest of us.

    Like Ginny said, maybe someday you will actually read about the details of what happened over that four day period leading up to the rescue. Maybe you’ll learn about how we sat there and watched our plane take off from Haiti without us because we had exceeded our allowed time on the ground. Maybe you’ll learn about how the Governor was on the phone for hours upon hours trying to get the proper clearances we needed to bring those kids here. Or maybe you’ll learn about how 6 of us, including the Governor’s wife who is a Federal Judge in the state of Pennsylvania, left the airport to go to the US Embassy (when we were advised not to because of security reasons) because that was the only way we could save those children.
    It sickens me that some of you can’t put politics aside for something so amazing such as these girls and all of their children. You don’t have to agree with his political views but don’t question his heart or character. He is an amazing person and I can only hope that our next Governor or any other politician for that matter can say that “Playing a small part in rescuing these children has been the most personally rewarding experience of my 40 years in public life,”

    Here’s a YouTube video I made that shows every photo from that initial rescue. Why don’t you watch it, take a look at those precious childrens’ faces and then try to tell me that we rescued them for our own personal gain.


  14. BeauJacques
    June 29, 2010 8:40 pm


    So Big Ed did one right?

    You say ‘..question his heart or character…”

    One good deed does NOT establish or define character.

    One good deed does not erase a career of lies.

    He gets credit for this good deed.