Global Community Impact
Finalist: DAVE POLSTRA
Dave Polstra remembers thinking, “There's no way I'm going on an overseas mission.” But after participating in an eight-day mission trip to Guatemala in 1991, he returned home a changed man.
“I felt I had to make a choice in my attitude: Either "been there, done that' or answer the calling to make a difference.”
He heeded the call, leading his own mission in 1992 on behalf of Medical Missions Ministries, which provides free medical clinics for impoverished rural Guatemalans. He has continued to travel to Guatemala almost every year since.
Mr. Polstra, a co-founder and financial adviser with Brightworth LLC in Atlanta (primary custodian Schwab), has served on the board of Medical Missions Ministries for 17 years, applying his administrative talents and financial expertise to setting up financial systems, fundraising, recruiting volunteers, procuring medicines and doing facility planning.
Under his guidance, the organization has grown from one doctor and three mission trips a year to a full-time staff of 10 and 29 trips annually, serving 3,000 patients. The ministry also provides microenterprise training.
Keeping the organization running smoothly and fiscally sound is Mr. Polstra's behind-the-scenes gift. He jokingly tells the doctors, “You prescribe the medicines, let me count the money.”