A Message from Paula Carvalho: Overcoming Obstacles

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” At Mission of Mercy Arizona, the first two months of 2020 have been filled with challenges.

In early February while setting up our Maryvale clinic for a day of service, our main medical RV caught fire and ended up a total loss. This has forced us to rely on our one remaining older mobile unit to serve six clinic locations throughout the Valley, traveling several hundred miles each and every week. Later that month, we experienced some mechanical challenges with the unit and had one of our drivers take a leave due to health complications. If this is any indication of things to come, 2020 is shaping up to be an “all-hands-on-deck” kind of year!

We shared our story with friends, volunteers, and local media outlets about the fire and mobile unit loss, which resulted in more than $20,000 in donations being raised to match a generous donor’s contribution. Gifts came from new and faithful donors alike and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support!

We still await a final determination from insurance for the loss but are moving forward with the purchase and customization of a new mobile medical unit and will share updates on our progress over the next several months.

Now we step up our efforts for the health and safety of our patients, volunteers and staff in the midst of growing concern around the coronavirus.

As Dr. King so wisely noted, we will ultimately be measured by how we decide to deal with the challenges we face. There is still much work to be done, but our dedicated medical staff and volunteers continue to approach these challenges with grace, knowing that the vital healthcare services we provide to Arizona’s uninsured and underinsured are critically important – perhaps now more than ever.



Paula Carvalho
Executive Director
Mission of Mercy Arizona Program