On our 20th wedding anniversary, nearly two weeks ago, my husband wrote me a note to tell me how much he loves and admires me. He specifically mentioned my dedication to helping the people in the Dominican Republic, and he ended by saying that “if the next 20 years are anything like the past 20, ‘Life is Good’ will continue to be much more than just a t-shirt slogan.”
There’s no doubt that my hubby and I have a pretty darned good life… but lately it feels like the planets have all lined up and many friends have come together to make the “mission work” part of my life even better. It all started with one friend who generously donated her used scrubs for me to take to the DR in May. You see, they keep medical clothing at the Solid Rock guesthouse. Scrubs are the preferred attire for working in the barrio medical clinics, and keeping a large supply there helps us not have to pack so much into our limited luggage space.
Tressi’s kind gift was just the start of what I hope will be a huge collection of donated scrubs… some to take and some to sell as a fundraising project.
At about the same time, Deann, the Unit Manager of my hospital’s ICU contacted me. On that unit, they collect supplies to donate, but have had a hard time getting anyone to take them. Would I be interested? Yep. I left the hospital a couple days later with 5 boxes and 2 huge trash bags of medical supplies!
Fast forward a day or two, and I got the news that one of my blog posts from the May 2015 trip would soon be used in an official Solid Rock International newsletter. They want to celebrate the “gift of education” that some of the volunteer mission workers have provided recently, and liked my words and pictures enough to share them with everyone!
For more than a year, our good friends Gary and Susan have allowed me to use space in their storage unit. With the sudden influx of donated items, I recently realized I needed more space and a better way to organize all this stuff!! Well, using the theory “You won’t get anything if you don’t ask”, I explained my situation to the right people, and the next thing you know a very kind man named Frank was handing me the keys to a storage space to use for free. Oh my gosh… so generous!
Even before finding out the dimensions of the donated storage space, I told my story to the right person (Eric) at St. Rita’s and was immediately given the green light to obtain whatever shelving I needed to hold supplies. After going through 2 floors of furnishings, and choosing shelves that I thought would work, I was even told that I didn’t need to arrange to borrow a truck! Lucas arranged for Bill and Steve to load up, deliver, unload and place the shelves for me this morning… in the pouring rain! When one of the units didn’t fit just right, they took it back to the hospital and returned with one that was perfect. Their kindness was overwhelming!
As of today, there are 227 days until I leave for the Dominican Republic. I have a lot to do before then! I need to get Yasiri’s Christmas and Birthday gifts wrapped and ready to send with the ONU group that will go in November. I need to continue collecting scrubs, personal hygiene items, shoes, luggage, and medical supplies. If there are enough donated scrubs, I need to plan and hold a huge sale of the extra pieces… with the goal of using the $$$$ toward mission expenses.
I’ll need to give a lot of thought to the next step in the multi-year Breast Self-Exam teaching plan… and then work with Robin to make sure 2016’s trip is another important contribution toward local health education in the D.R.
Oh… and somehow I need to find the time to work on my goal of improving my fluency in Spanish. I (possibly foolishly) set the goal of being able to do my BSE teaching without a translator next year. Hmmm… note to self: pencil in “Rosetta Stone” on calendar throughout the Winter!
That’s enough of an update for today, friends. I just wanted to share all the wonderful and positive things that have been happening lately… and to thank each and every person who helps in any way… teeny-tiny or really-huge… it takes a village to make a project like this happen, and I’m so appreciative of your help and support! Life IS Good.