Jambo! So, it has been 10 weeks since Mission Training Workshop (where we were assigned our medical mission), and the time has seriously flown by so quickly! We are off in 5 days to Nakuru, Kenya with a team of doctors, nurses, and volunteers from around the world to help transform smiles and impact lives with Operation Smile. These past few weeks have been really busy, filled with last minute preparations for presentations, donations, and packing (…still in the process). This journey has been amazing so far, and we haven’t even stepped on the plane yet. I am so thankful to have the support of family members and friends, as well as local schools and businesses in preparation for this endeavor.
AND THE MISSION PREP BEGAN…
As soon as I returned from MTW I began contacting local dentists and using connections to help collect supplies. Starting off with the Claire Bear and 2 decorated pillows from mission training, I can now barely walk in my room due to the extensive amount of supplies, posters, luggage etc.
First, I created a donation letter and flyer which I sent out to family and close friends (many of whom live in other parts of the country/abroad) and I am very grateful to have received several monetary donations to be used for supplies. Then, I went on an Oriental Trading and Dollar Tree shopping spree!
I also contacted my elementary school, Linkhorn Park, and was able to have their gracious support in allowing me to come and do a presentation about Operation Smile to the 4th and 5th graders. Thanks to everyone that was there and Mrs. Godwin and Mrs. Simmelink for help coordinating everything! I was able to hold a supply drive too, and the elementary students collected over 500 mission and smile bag items!!!!! Thank you!!! They also received a special visit from Nur, a World Care patient, and they participated in Shamrock Final Mile so it was cool to see all of their involvement with Op Smile. These students were so excited to help collect mission supplies! I have also collected over 500 toothbrushes to bring from dentists (Thanks Dr. Sims!) and through the elementary school supply drive.
My high school Operation Smile club helped create get well cards for my mission, and I am fortunate to have the wonderful help of Jenna Fredrickson, Paula Lewis, and Rachel Tucker who have all participated in Op Smile missions from Princess Anne. Hopefully we will be able to get all those supplies into two suitcases under 50lbs each… currently a huge struggle…Here's a sample of some of the supplies:
WITH ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT…
I have my cargo pants and Op Smile t-shirts ready to pack in my carry on
Making the finishing touches on presentations and practicing!
Brushing up on my Swahili
Getting prepared for 9 days of school make up work, but I know it is definitely worth it!
Loving every minute of this incredible journey!