By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4)– It took two tries, but a team from Colorado made it to Haiti to provide dental and medical assistance to people living outside the capital city of Port Au Prince.
It was a display of international benevolence and caring that almost didn’t happen.
Gas price hikes touched off riots in Haiti’s capital in July.
Volunteers from Colorado and elsewhere were already on the way and had to be turned back.
“Our volunteers were incredibly disappointed everybody was so passionate about going to serve in Haiti,” said Greta Walker with Bridge of Life.
They were able to try again a few months later. They delivered supplies, care and medical attention for people living outside of the capital Port Au Prince.
Valerie Zanon of Denver speaking in Haiti said, “The events that happened in July made me more determined to see the project through and i was relieved that it was rescheduled.”
A total of 20 volunteers joined staff members to see 1,900 Haitians. Among those who came from Colorado was Spencer Hodge.
He and the rest of the volunteers are employees of Davita, the kidney treatment firm based in Denver.
“This is one of the few times free medical services come out to them where they live,” he said.
Some of the stations helped residents with vital signs, blood tests, doctor visits and dental care.
“Health care despite how difficult it may be you have an obligation to provide it to people around the world,” said Hodge.
Those who came from the U.S. were there to give but they also received a lesson about how similar all humans area.
Bridge of Life serves 28 countries. It was founded by Davita which helps fund the trips in which volunteers also raise money.
LINK: Bridge of Life