Thursday, 25 August 2016

With a Grateful Heart

Team Licensed Optician is going on this trip as part of the continuing outreach of New St James Presbyterian Church of London, ON. They built the Timvane Childeren's centre in Chipagala, Malawi 6yrs ago which now serves as a school for over 5000 children. They self-funded the project and have been very dedicated to following up and continuing the support. When I joined the team, I promised that the optical component would be self funded and not draw funds from the congregation. Our team co-ordinator Cathy was skeptical but said that if that didn't happen the church would find a way. She had nothing to worry about.
It was great that the OAC and OOA both stepped up first and connected us with many big donations from Plastics Plus, Loblaws, Centennial, Hoya and many others. But what always amazes me are the smaller donations from independent Opticians or businesses or just my wonderful circle of friends.
People like:
Karen Dallas, whose family, while mourning the loss of their father and grandfather, came together and asked that in leiu of flowers donations be made to our mission. Her father had worked in India and needed glasses his whole life-he would be proud to be helping others. Over $500.

Deborah Perry LO of Optika Electika in Saskatoon, SK who read about my mission trip to DR in 2014 and just decided to help out an unknown colleague. She has continued to support my outreach projects with beautiful glasses, cash donations and best wishes. She even inspired her courier driver who asked about the shipments to Ontario and when he heard what they were for, offered his own cash donation to help with luggage costs.

Frank Suen of Frame Barn who I met at a trade show, won his draw and ended up bringing in one of his frame lines to the dispensary I was working at. He didn't hesitate to donate 2 complete set of tools for Bryan and I for repairs and adjustments.

Kayla and Colin at Forest City Sports and Social Club, the place I'm always rushing to get to my curling game. They had left over soccer and volley balls that they loaded up and are now packed away ready to be played with again.
Rachel Hill of Personal Optical, Niagara Falls, ON. Like Deborah, Rachel donated beautiful frames that she cleared out from her store. It's just such a gift to be able to dispense beautiful stylish glasses to those who would never get to have such lovely things as only theirs. Usually having to settle for what is left over or over used.
The crew from SeaToSea2008. 8yrs ago we spent 9 weeks cycling across North America together. After a Facebook plea, 22 of them came forward to fund the purchase of 2 bicycles that our team can use then gift to some one. Transportation that will transform lives.
My team at FYI Doctors in St Thomas who graciously got us 2 symbol Snellen charts with flash cards to help with our assessments and communication.
My employers at Eyes On Richmond and Sears Optical who said "No Problem" when I said I needed 3 weeks off.

And all my friends and family who generously sent cheques and money. Cathy and the rest of the team have often commented that I have a lot of generous people in my life. They couldn't be more right.
Over the last few months, I have heard several times how proud and impressed people are that I am doing this project. But they are missing those that are sending me, supporting me, funding this. I couldn't be doing this without them. 

For all of this, I am truly grateful. THANK YOU.

1 comment: