The last ten years have brought unprecedented challenges, changes, and breakthroughs for Blessings International under the leadership of Barry Ewy.

Dr. Harold Harder and Dr. Barry Ewy in September 2013.

Having a background in pharmacy, law, and healthcare administration, Barry met all the components our board was looking for in a candidate to take over for our retiring founder, Dr. Harold Harder.

“In my time at Blessings,” Barry said, “there have been a lot of mixed emotions because there have been some real challenges. But on the other hand, there’s been some incredible moments that I’ve seen with Blessings.”

One of the first things that fell under Barry’s leadership—and one that would become a significant milestone in his tenure—was securing licensing and exemptions so that Blessings International could ship into 48 states.

“Licensing opens doors to serve,” Barry says. “It protects us and the recipient. Their license is protected, and they know that they are getting medical shipments from a reputable source, and from a source that can legally send it to them.”

The licensing pursuit required five years of deliberate, detailed effort. “I’m really proud of the amount of work that went into that and continues to go into that. It’s continual.”

Not long later, just after Blessings International celebrated its best month ever, reaching 1 million lives in January 2020 alone, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, proving to be one of the biggest challenges in Barry’s tenure.

“Ninety-six percent of those we served at the time was short-term international medical missions,” Barry said. “Overnight, that dropped to almost nothing, and it forced us to diversify in ways we hadn’t had the need for before.”

Some of those diversifications were increasing exports so those people who were still hurting in developing nations could have some relief even though short-term medical mission teams were not coming. We also partnered with more US-based clinics and pregnancy resource centers as their need increased.

“I’m just extremely grateful to God that he carried us through that time. It opened doors and opportunities for us to be able to weather through. I’m really appreciative also of our board and our staff, working through some really hard times and having to make some really difficult decisions at times, but decisions that ultimately enabled us to survive.”

And those decisions were not in vain. “They allowed us to grow, and now here we are, just having finished fiscal year 2023, our biggest year ever. We expected it to be the last year of recovery before growing again, but God blessed our efforts so that it was a year well past recovery."

Stanley two years after his first treatment with the HOMS program.

Some of the incredible moments Barry remembers over the years have been very impacting personally. Barry recalls the day when he saw a photo of an orphan in Haiti named Stanley. After Blessings International began the Haiti Orphanage Medical Support (HOMS) program in 2016, Stanley was one of the first groups of kids who were helped. Stanley was only four years old and severely malnourished.

He began treatment with the HOMS program. Then one day, Barry saw an updated photo showing Stanley’s improvement. “I asked to confirm that it was even the same person,” he said. “It was one of those incredible moments, realizing that here is someone who’s growing into a young man that has a real chance because of something we helped to promote.”

Looking forward, Barry hopes to continue along the current trajectory, increasing direct shipments and reaching even more short-term mission teams, US clinics, and animal health providers.

When considering the past ten years, Barry says, “I’m just grateful. Blessings is just a really unique and fantastic environment. And I’m just grateful to be a part of it for ten years."