Just 41 days ’til departure, and I’m feeling overwhelmed with gratitude! I just cannot get over how fortunate I am to have such wonderful friends and relatives who understand my passion for the mission work I do in the Dominican Republic.
As usual, I’ve been busy with fund-raising efforts to help pay the expenses associated with the trip. The cost for the week is $1500-2000. I’m sure I could budget a percentage of my take-home pay to cover the costs… but for me, it’s a matter of pride to find projects, plan events or solicit help with the donations. I like to think that there are plenty of people in the world who REALLY want to be associated with such a worthwhile endeavor, and they are ready, willing and able to help if they have the chance.
To pay for the 2016 trip, so far I’ve designed and sold fundraising t-shirts and held a sale of donated used medical scrubs. So many people have stepped forward to help me prepare for this year’s mission trip…I can’t remember everyone, but I want to specifically mention some people who have been incredibly generous…
First of all… to the hundreds of employees at St. Rita’s Medical Center and the associated offices and clinics… THANK YOU so much for donating your used scrubs. I have dozens of scrubs packed and ready to go to the Dominican Republic, where they will be worn by missionaries from all over the United States while they are doing good work every week in the rural areas of the D.R. There were hundreds of scrubs that would not fit into the luggage that’s going on this trip, and some will be sent with other groups this year and next… but the rest will be or have already been sold to raise cash to help with travel expenses and medical supplies for myself and the entire group that will travel in May. We have many costs associated with the trip, including medications, fees and wages for Dominican physicians and translators. The money raised at the Scrub Sale will go a long way toward covering those costs.
Brenda donated the use of her rental hall for the Scrub Sale, and organized a raffle drawing and craft sale to build up the funds. Julie was the #1 raffle ticket sales person, as well as all-around A#1 scrub sales person. Kiara, Abbi and Britton were incredibly valuable helping hands before, during and after the event.
Thank you to Frank and to Gary and Susan for making sure I have plenty of clean, dry storage space for scrubs, medical supplies, luggage, shoes and scrubs.
In the past few days, some very lovely ladies have come forward with offers to establish special sales and then donate commissions from their own businesses. Emily (from my hubby’s office) set up a special sale of her jewelry line, Stella & Dot. How generous is that?
Beth (one of my own work peeps) is going to give a portion of her proceeds from the sale of the nutritional supplement Thrive to the cause, and Melissa (also a co-worker) quickly jumped on board to do the same with her sales of the same product. I’m unbelievably lucky to be surrounded by such kind-hearted people.
People at church are putting donated items in a suitcase in the lobby, our friends Jack and JoJo bought hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpastes to send along again this year, the staff of the ICU at St. Rita’s are very diligent about saving unused medical supplies for me to take, my Dad’s friend Jimmy is telling his family members to clean out their closets and give me their shoes and luggage, my neighbors are buying medications to be distributed in the barrios each day… the list just goes on and on… With everyone’s help, I just know that I’ll reach my fundraising goals for the 2016 trip. With any luck at all, there might be some extra $$$$ to put aside for 2017.
As I’ve said before, when I go to the Dominican Republic on these mission trips. I consider myself an ambassador… I represent each and every person who has helped me get there. So, for everyone who bought a t-shirt, bought or donated a scrub top, gave rummage sale items, or a suitcase or shoes, made a special effort to buy aspirin, vitamins or hygiene supplies, or whispered a prayer for my safe travels… you’re all missionaries.
I’m the lucky one… I get to actually GO on the trip, see the sights, eat the food, sweat the sweat, hold the babies and feel the love… but I’m taking YOU with me. The true goodness of your heart will be carried like the valuable cargo that it is, right next to my heart for the entire week in May.