Edit ModuleShow Tags

Front Pages


Published:

(page 1 of 5)

Helping Hands


During her bus ride home in Tijuana one day, a Project Concern community health worker spotted a mother whose baby girl had sunken eyes, a distended belly and skinny legs and arms. She approached the mother and gently recommended she bring the baby to Project Concern’s Well-Baby Clinic.

Doctors examined the girl and found she was malnourished. The mother said she didn’t realize girl babies needed as much food as boy babies. The Project Concern worker saw to it that the mother brought the baby to the clinic weekly to be monitored and to receive food Project Concern provides for entire families. The baby gained weight and recovered.

George Guimaraes’ eyes well up at that story, bespeaking a passion for helping needy children. The new president and CEO of Project Concern International has had more than 30 years of experience in international marketing and advertising. But six years ago, harking back to his 1960s experience as a New York City youth volunteer, Guimaraes ducked out of the corporate world. He put his skills to work for Save the Children.

Now he’s enthusiastic about tackling his new duties for Project Concern, which has maintained the integrity of its founder, James Turpin, a Navy doctor in private practice in Coronado, who volunteered at a medical clinic in Tijuana. According to the organization’s latest annual report, 90 percent of its $30 million budget went to program services. And while other charities experienced sharp drop-offs in donations in the aftermath of 9/11, Project Concern raised more money last year—$28 million—than ever before.

“The story here is wonderful,” Guimaraes says. He notes that while the Project Concern network spans the globe, much of its work takes place right here, on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. The Border Health Initiative, launched in 1996, has helped tens of thousands of children and their families in such areas as baby wellness, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Project Concern also deploys a squad of “promotoras”—25 longtime Mexico volunteers who have been trained to provide direct health services.

Project Concern also has launched a “New Americans” project in San Diego aimed at new immigrants, chiefly from East Africa.

“Our border work is some of our most important,” Guimaraes says. “We’re literally saving kids’ lives and building a healthier community.”

Dr. Blanca Lomeli will attest to that. Back in the 1980s, Lomeli saw a young pregnant woman at a Project Concern clinic. The woman had developed placenta previa, a condition that threatened her life as well as her unborn child’s. The doctor made sure the woman got to the hospital for the surgery that saved her life. In the years since then, Lomeli and the mother have kept in touch. The baby girl grew up in good health and is about to become a mother herself.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Hello, Dolly: The Queen of Country Music Comes to San Diego

Here she comes again! 5 reasons to get your tickets now for the Dolly Parton concert on September 27

(Park)ing Day Transformed Downtown Parking Spots into Public Parks

We explored 8 of them

How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans

San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide, and struggling to get benefits from the VA
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags