LAMP (Learning Assistance and Mentoring Partnerships) is a collaboration among Pittsburgh Public Schools, Family Guidance and area churches including my church Northway Christian Community to serve high-risk, gang-prone youth from middle and elementary schools.

Over the past year, I have been working with program director Bryan McCabe to help tell the story of specific parts of the program. Over the winter I hung out with kids that are in desperate need of mentors (there is a very long waiting list) as they gathered once a week to hang out with Bryan and his family.

This is a long, tedious, on going project, but I hope you enjoy a look into the chaos that ensues. For a little perspective, imaging 25-50 young kids, with 3-4 adults, eating, screaming, playing video games, and shooting nerf darts for a few hours in a small house in Homewood.



A lot of you have seen me tweet and post on Facebook about #BRESMA. BRESMA is a orphanage in Haiti run by Jamie and Ali McMurtie, two local girls from Pittsburgh. Their life, and the life of more than 150 orphans in their care, was transformed drastically by the Earthquake. Their houses were destroyed, their food and water stocks were low, and after nearly three days, they were out completely. Through cries of help through social media, (and lots of reaching out for connections with Twitter), Ali and more than 50 children are safely in Pittsburgh!

bresma (Photo: Laura Petrilla)

Here is a statement from the family that Virginia from Thats Church just posted.

A statement from the McMutrie family:

“We are so thrilled to be able to share with you that Ali McMutrie and the children from the Brebis de Saint-Michel de L’Attalaye (BRESMA) orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, arrived safely at Pittsburgh International Airport a short while ago.  Jamie McMutrie will be following behind shortly.  We will release a full statement as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, thank you for your support during this trying time, and please continue to keep Haiti in your thoughts.”

God is good! While I dont know the girls personally, I do know their sister in law, and a number of their friends. And yet I still feel useless and helpless right now.

That is just a small victory in this massive war that is going on to save lives and rebuild a Nation.

So what do I see as the next step? I see massive amounts of medical support needed for a long time to come. Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti is another local organization that is doing great work on the ground in Haiti. They have doctors working nearly around the clock, and according to friends that are close to the hospital, things like morphine are running VERY short, and they are in much need of supplies.

Please consider them for your donation and keep them and everyone working in Haiti in your prayers.

To learn more, follow the hospital director Ian Rawson on the hospitals blog.

Ok, enough for today, time to get back to finishing two parent wedding albums so I can get these books into the hands of my anxious clients here in Pittsburgh.