Hello family and friends - I have made the commitment to volunteer for a medical mission as a nurse for Corner of Love in Nicaragua. Their purpose is as an outreach to the people of Northern Nicaragua. They deliver medical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical services through several clinics that are staffed by volunteers, like me and professional/regulated volunteers who are licensed practitioners of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy. They have built a dorm for volunteers and are in the process of permitting and building a school. The surface water supply is heavily contaminated with parasites accounting for the malnutrition that most of the population suffers from...C.O.L is drilling and laying pipe for potable water, meanwhile residents boil the water they use to cook with and heat it over wood fires. Life is NOT easy in this country. Corner of Love serves in rural settings, going to each patient’s home or village to deliver medical, dental, and eye care. Medicine and supplies are packed each day and brought by truck, bus, horseback, or backpack to reach remote communities. One of the most important things we do is distribute anti-parasite medications where there is no potable water supply. We work alongside Nicaraguan doctors and volunteers and host medical and dental professionals from all over the world to bring healthcare to more than fifty villages each year.
I'll be in and around the village of San Ramon - not far from Matagalpa - for 8 days. I've never done anything like this before and you'll have to "stay tuned" and I'll tell you what I see, hear and experience when I get back. We are discouraged from bringing smart phones, ipads, laptops and are encouraged to use the one computer in the dorm to let our family know we are safe and sound. With about 50 volunteers I don't suppose I'll send many notes while I'm there but I'll sure fill you in when I get home!!
Corner of Love has a really elaborate web site. The home base is in Maple Valley which is so lucky for us Pacific Northwesterner's.
I've thought about serving on a mission for a long time, but it wasn't until more recently that I started having trouble saying my usual "no". This opportunity allows me to utilize my nursing skills as well as my Spanish speaking skills and I was unable to let this gift pass me by. One of the most special parts of this journey is that I will be sharing it with my mom, one of the most superior nurses and selfless people I know. The memories we will share on this trip will probably benefit us as much as the people we are going to serve.
The most challenging part so far has been the fund raising. Each of us are asked to raise an amount that would equal the cost of one of the large pharmaaceutical packs that distribute 6 months supply of anti-parasite medicines (like Mebendazole) to each patient they see in clinic. My goal is $1250.00.
It's a difficult time of year to ask people to make charitable contributions...then again, maybe it's the best. In honor of "the Thankful season", that's exactly what I'm doing. Corner of Love recommended a web site called Crowdrise. Their address is www.crowdrise.com. When the site opens there will be a task bar at the top and in the extreme right hand corner a small "search" window. If you type my name in there (Stefanie Ostergard) then the next window will be a listing of some fundraisers, mine is about the fourth one in the line-up so you have to scroll down a little.
So in a nutshell...I'm going to do something I've always wanted to do...even if it's hard, at times. These kids have parents who love them just as we love our kids, they just have almost no resources to bring to the table or to their lives. I am so grateful for a chance to contribute and beyond blessed by anyone who can graciously help with the fundraising.
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CR Impact Points
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Stefanie Ostergard's Fundraisers
I'm working on creating my first super compelling Fundraiser so please keep hitting refresh over and over until my first Fundraiser shows up. Or just wait for me to email you about it.