Dr. Michael Karr began serving Haiti with medical needs since the 1980's, many times shutting down his own clinic and taking his team with him. This became his passion, and also the passion of his pastor, Dr. Bill Mays, who was touched by the many Haitians who had lost their front teeth, and "couldn't get married." So he went to some friends of his who had dental labs and learned how to make "flippers," or appliances that could be made on the field and placed in the mouths of the young people who had lost their front teeth. This started his journey into the world of dentistry, where he actually earned his dental licenses in some countries, and is very comfortable with most dental procedures.
In 2005, Dr. Karr and Dr. Mays found it necessary to form the non-profit organization which they called Medical Relief International, or MRI. Since then, they have taken teams of medical professional and volunteers to:
- Islands in the Philippines,
as well as other locations both in the US and around the world.
Since then many others have jumped on board, and helped in BIG ways to fundraise, solicit major donations, and GIVE to make miracles happen.
- Dr. Nhi Pham has solicited millions of dollars in donations for the clinic in Tanzania
- Dr. Janet Darling has been involved in overseeing all fundraising events, soliciting donations and also taken on the organizational challenges that come to her with enthusiasm
- Patty Mays handles the "office," quietly overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization, and following her husband around, picking up and organizing the many pieces
There are countless other people who quietly donate, bring in donations, volunteer on trips, or behind the scenes, and for them we are truly grateful! It is important to note that ALL individuals working with MRI are VOLUNTEERS, and every donated dollar goes directly to the needs of the fields served.