As the families and friends of the lost at the Hotel Montana prayed and waited for word, information coming out of Haiti was spotty and often old or simply inaccurate. It was a heartbreaking process of trying to figure out what was really happening and what was truth. Then came Gretchen Wallace twittering as Conscious Change. Suddenly there was someone connecting through Twitter and Facebook that was there at the Montana. She was sifting the wheat from the chaff. She was an angel.
Who, you may ask, is Gretchen Wallace? According to the Global Grassroots web site she is one woman who has a dream of helping other women. She formed the non-profit organization in 2004. The mission is to unite, empower and support relief of poor, distressed and underprivileged women worldwide. Over the six years since its inception Global Grassroots has helped over 8,000 individuals per year and touched over 40,000 through the changes they are helping underprivileged women work in their own lives.
How Gretchen ended up at the Hotel Montana is not clear to me, but she clearly has been a God send to thousands. Over the last two weeks Gretchen and her brother Brian have been onsite and around the area doing whatever needs to be done. They have helped with the physical work. They have tracked down resources. Gretchen has worked to build a database of information on the missing to assist with locating these people. Sadly, much of her information will also be used to identify the dead as they are recovered from the rubble.
These last two weeks Gretchen has put her money where her mouth is so to speak. She has given up the comforts of home to sleep on the ground in the parking lot of the destroyed hotel. She has forgone showers and other conveniences of daily life just to be there for others. She is truly a person who is making a difference for others.
Thanks to Gretchen those of us following the work around the world have reliable information. She posts only that which she can verify and she is very cognizant of how one small incorrect post can devastate a loved one. Her heart is obviously full of compassion and caring. Gretchen has been a gift to many.
Thank you, Gretchen, for all you are doing!