Recently, I’ve been reflecting on some of the women I know who exhibit special unique skills. When I drill down deeper to determine why I admire these women I find that they have made outstanding contributions to society. While they may not enjoy the celebrity that will make them famous, they will always remain unsung heroes to those for whom they’ve served.
I wanted to draw attention to one such person who I have come to know and admire. Here I highlight one reason why I realize she is so special.
“When you’ve been blessed, be a blessing to others,”
so says Dr. Kerlyne Guerrier as she agrees to be interviewed by me about an event that made a life-changing difference to her a few years ago. Her visit to earthquake-ravaged Haiti in 2010.
Dr. Guerrier is an Optometrist by day and a parent of two, who manages her patients diligently between two locations in New Jersey, regardless of the weather. She tells me she has always dreamed of helping the people of Haiti – her homeland – in some way, but the demands of caring for her family and maintaining her profession did not allow her the time to gather the resources she needed to make that dream a reality and traveling distance made it difficult to plan such a venture.
The Earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 presented Dr. Guerrier with the right set of circumstances to make the trip to Haiti happen. Her Church had set up a branch location after the earthquake hit, and was doing everything possible to provide aid for the many people who were devastated in its wake.
Having the infrastructure already in place and accommodations available, it was easier to plan a trip with a destination in mind, knowing that the logistics would be securely monitored. Dr Guerrier and her son set out on a mission that would be a life long memory. While there, she not only provided vision care, but also helped feed and counsel women and young girls on social and health issues.
“They (the helpers) worked in groups with kids from 3 to 18 years old. The kids were provided two meals a day. They were taught the Bible and the love of God. They were given the opportunity to do Arts and Crafts and other educational activities which they were extremely happy to do.”
There were many lessons learned that Dr. Guerrier would never forget:
“…..the happy expressions on their faces, although they possessed so very little.”
Dr. Guerrier also states that “The blessing that she received from the earthquake victims, is so much more than anything that she could have given.”
During encounters like these, connections are made between people that one never forgets.
“One such encounter happened with a young lady who volunteered to read the scriptures and was usually very quiet and sad most of the time, due to her mother’s illness. She was very intelligent and mentioned that her wish was to one day become a nurse.”
Dr. Guerrier presented her with some notebooks and found that during her spare time, she was using these notebooks to write poetry, in the midst of all the chaos. The talents of this young lady did not go unnoticed and the two have now formed a permanent bond. Dr. Guerrier was so struck with the commitment and dedication she witnessed in this young lady, that she is now mentoring and assisting her remotely, to help her achieve her educational goals.
“A dream came through for one person and is allowing someone else to fulfill their dream.”
Dr. Guerrier plans to revisit Haiti to provide vision care in the near future.