Richard Frederick: Physical Education major
Dick Frederick has seen it time and time again: People drop everything and volunteer one to four weeks of their time in an unsettled disaster zone “to help those living on the edge of despair” somewhere in the world. They are medical doctors, dentists, nurses, hygienists, and others. One in five have no particular medical skill but want to be part of a work team. Medical Teams International mobilizes them, tons of medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid to help people touched by disaster, conflict, and poverty in 70 countries.
Frederick’s job is to find the funds for such expensive and harrowing work. In June, the former SPU alumni director worked closely with Seattle Pacific student intern Madeline Monson to stage “The Field of Dreams” annual MTI dinner and auction at Seattle’s SAFECO Field, raising more than $2 million.
Frederick is also tasked with building awareness of MTI’s work. One effective outreach tool is “The REAL. LIFE. Exhibit,” a free, walk-through, multisensory simulation that helps visitors gain a better sense of what it is like for children suffering the effects of life-threatening hardship. Groups from schools, churches, and the general public visit the exhibit at MTI’s Seattle and Portland offices.
“I had great role models of servant leadership at SPU,” says Frederick. Those examples of selflessness from faculty and staff have spurred him through many a life challenge and were, in part, what inspired him to join MTI in 1996. And they remain with him to this day every time he and his co-workers deal with the aftermath of disaster.