(Reproduced from MSNBC blog posted by Mario Garcia, NBC News Producer, New York)
Spend some time around Nancy Rivard and you quickly learn she is many things. Smart. Kind. Compassionate. And a little crazy.
Just crazy enough to believe that she could actually pull off her plan. Convince major airlines to utilize space on their planes to help people around the world live better lives.
The idea seems simple enough, but common sense is a rare commodity these days. To see Nancy's idea in action is remarkable. Perhaps more remarkable, her energy and her ability to actually make things happen.
As Kerry already posted, as journalists we are supposed to "tell a story." Not be part of it. That was hard when dealing with Nancy and her Airline Ambassadors. OK, in the interest of full disclosure, it was impossible.
Nancy and the many people she has inspired are truly "Making a Difference" in the lives of people around the world. When you are around these folks you quickly get wrapped up in their whirlwind of compassion.
The Airline Ambassadors deliver humanitarian aid personally. They escort ill children across oceans for medical treatment. They travel thousands of miles to simply hold orphan babies who have no one else to hold them.
I traveled with Kerry and our news team to tell the story of these "do gooders." I wound up holding one of those babies. He was small and he was crying. He stopped crying for a little while, but not long enough.
It is easy to be cynical in the world we live in these days. It is not easy to be cynical when you are comforting a crying three-month-old orphan. I think it's fair to say that Nancy and her fellow Airline Ambassadors made it hard to be a "good journalist," but a little bit easier to be a good person.
Thank you, Nancy. Thank you all.