EyeCare International members frequently get together on weekends to sort donations, medical supplies, different prescription glasses, etc. The members have affectionately nicknamed these events “work parties.” While the name might suggest fun appetizers and happy hour, do not mistake these “parties” for anything other than some fulfilling, hard work.
Preparation for the annual trips to El Salvador starts way before anyone even arrives in the country. Preparation comes in waves. Obtaining funding and supplies is absolutely essential but only half of the battle. Imagine receiving 20 boxes of glasses-how exciting-but how will you be getting those 20 boxes to a foreign country? Further, how will you prepare those boxes to efficiently serve thousands of people? Enter the work party.
Regardless of geographical location, existing members find ways to come together or recruit new volunteers to help get preparations well underway. Volunteers ensure that donated glasses arrive in El Salvador in like-new condition. They pack medical equipment and supplies with the utmost care so that when those crucial supplies reach their location, they can perform as needed. When asked about the most crucial role volunteers perform, it was not the surgeries (though, those are very important!). Most members agree, work parties are the MVP. Without the solid foundation that these parties provide, nothing else would ever get done. When Eye Care International says that volunteers of all shapes, sizes, and professions can help, they mean it!
Despite the magnitude of the “party,” most members enjoy the chance to see others and contribute to the mission in this way. Work parties are a great way to bond with your peers while still having a sense of accomplishment that comes from helping others. There is no way to look around at the end of the session and not envision the impact that those supplies are going to have. If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a trip out of the country but are interested in local opportunities, please fill out the contact form!