In Memory of Tim Bilodeau
MFH founder Tim Bilodeau will always be in our hearts. Tim’s presence was larger than life, yet his humility always preceded him. He was a man of great ability and even greater purpose. He loved people, but most of all he loved children. He was outraged by the millions of needless preventable deaths of children and dedicated his life to saving as many as he could. Tim believed that a committed group of dreamers could bring about positive change and invited others to join him in his mission. He often said he felt like the luckiest man in the world because he got to spend each day helping others. His legacy will continue, and his memory will always be a blessing.
Here are some photos and memories of Tim from MFH staff members who worked alongside of him.
Elisa Avila, Coordinator, Dominican Republic
It was always a memorable time when Tim came to visit MFH projects in the Dominican Republic. I remember one visit to a village called Naranjo. I took Tim down to the river that was the primary water source for the village. It was used as a bathroom, for washing, and other purposes. I let Tim know it was a concern because the water was very dirty and could make people sick. After our talk, Tim walked along the riverbank and saw children playing in the middle of the river. The next thing I knew, Tim was removing his shoes and socks and wading across the murky waters to spend time with the children playing. For him, shared experiences were a great equalizer. Nothing would stop him from trying to connect to the people in the communities MFH was serving.
Dusson St. Jean, Coordinator, Haiti
I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with Tim on his trips to Haiti over the years. He always wanted to learn as much as possible about our sites and what else MFH could do to help. On one trip in particular, I was showing Tim a community clinic and afterward we took a short break. Tim walked outside and when it was time to resume the tour I was not able to find him. I began to search the neighborhood until I heard his unforgettable voice coming from a home nearby. I found Tim inside chatting with a woman trying to learn what more MFH could do to help her and her children.
Olivia Fobid Acha-Morfaw, Coordinator, Cameroon
Unfortunately, I was never able to work with Tim directly. I was hired after his retirement, but I had heard many wonderful stories about him from the Catholic Sisters we partner with at our projects in Cameroon. When I passed on the news to the sisters about Tim’s death, their reactions again reminded me of the incredible relationships Tim was able to form with people all over the world. The sisters are committed to carrying on Tim’s incredible legacy with MFH.
Kenneth Muko, Program Director
On one of Tim’s visits to Cameroon, we were touring a maternity ward at a community clinic that MFH supported. There was a mother who had just given birth to a healthy baby boy. Upon meeting Tim and learning that he was the leading force behind MFH and the support she had received, she thanked God for blessing her with this opportunity and announced to all that she was naming the baby “Timothy” out of gratitude for the gift that MFH had helped bring about. Afterward, we teased Tim about how he was going to explain his new Cameroonian “son” to his wife when he returned home.
Kristen Fanfant, Program Manager, LAC
When Tim would visit the projects in Haiti, there was always a lot of enthusiasm from our partners. The Sisters recognized a kindred spirit who shared their commitment to the most vulnerable mothers and children. To see the mutual love and respect between Tim and the Sisters was truly remarkable. He spent as much time as he could telling stories and jokes and making them laugh. The kind of “medicine” that Tim dispensed lifted spirits and provided inspiration in a very human and authentic way.
Dick Weisberg, Development Director
Tim was my friend. It was truly an honor to be his “wingman” on our many adventures together. He could be an imposing and powerful figure. He was certainly a born leader and a motivating coach. He inspired action, and during the course of his life he touched many others. But there was another side to Tim. After his passing, I had this photo framed. It hangs over my desk and reminds me of the amazing, childlike, honest enthusiasm and spirit that Tim possessed. Every time I look at it, it drives me on to continue the journey and work toward making his dream a reality.
Brother Allen Sherry Joins Medicines for Humanity Board of Directors
Brother Allen Sherry, a tireless advocate for justice and peace around the globe for more than 25 years, has joined the MFH Board of Directors. Br. Allen is a Marist Brother based in Australia. He pursued his post-graduate studies in the U.S., first at the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley, CA, and then at Boston College. He has held International Development and Aid leadership positions with various organizations and councils in Rome and Australia. He has a rich history of working with Catholic institutions and Catholic Sisters. Originally educated as a teacher, he worked with the Marist Brothers for many years in finance and was central to establishing and growing their international aid offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We are extremely proud to have Br. Allen Sherry join the MFH Board of Directors,” stated Kirk Ryan, MFH Board Chair. His work in International Aid and Development and his successful track record of working with international funders will surely help open new doors for us as we continue to pursue our mission of eliminating child mortality from preventable causes around the world.”
MFH Welcome New Fundraising Advisory Board and Six Founding Members
To help raise awareness about its mission and expand its fundraising capacity, Medicines for Humanity (MFH) has formed a new Fundraising Advocacy Board (FAB). The purpose of FAB is to help raise awareness about the mission of MFH, and to raise funds to provide maternal child healthcare to marginalized communities where mortality rates for children under 5 years from preventable illness is high. The new FAB members are Laura Brown, Sheila Collins, Sarah Davis, Irene Foo, Alissa Ford, and Alicia Gustafson. All six live in the Greater Boston area. Planning is underway for new fundraising initiatives in the coming months.