Operation Honduras is a group of Northeast Pennsylvania volunteers who travel to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, annually.The week long annual trips are dedicated to improving the quality of life of orphans and other people living in that area. Success of the trips is made possible through the help of in-country volunteers. Generous sponsors of this group include: local churches; including Westminster Presbyterian Church,Church of Christ Uniting,local clubs including Rotary, and many individuals. Volunteers regularly travel to the work sites prior to main group arrival for planning purposes.
Help us help them
Be a volunteers and make a difference
DONATE:used hearing aids (Starkey credits OH account for each used aid received), anti inflammatory medications; adult & children, tablets & suspension (acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen); cough suppressants; nasal decongestants; ascorbic acid;calcium;ferrous sulfate & folic acid. Donations are hand delivered to Ruth Paz Clinic.
CONTRIBUTE: (financially) to Wyoming Valley Presbyterian Church, "WVPC
2 Lockhart St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703; please memo check “Operation Honduras-Airfare Fund” or "Operation Honduras Material Fund”.
**Above donations go directly to materials or airfare-there are no administrative fees**
Operation Honduras "OH" Feb 15-22, 2018 report..Feb 14-21, 2019!
Operation Honduras "OH" volunteers and supporters:
Congratulations! Our February 15-22, 2018 trip was a great success and all goals per 12/21/17 email were achieved. People are already asking about Feb 14-21, 2019 :)
NEW SCHOOL, GIFT OF SIGHT, FRESH WATER PROJECT, TEACHER SPONSORSHIP for school by the damn, Plans for August 2018 GIFT OF SOUND, Delivery of Dental and others supplies, SHIRT ORDER, best friend Billy is engaged to a beautiful Honduran; who could ask for more from a trip?
If you are like most of my email readers including my wonderful OH volunteer daughter Lauren (i worship the ground she walks on) you will not want to read a long email and simply ask "whats important"? Answer: SHIRTS! if you are a traveling volunteer please email me your shirt size and you will get a 2018 GIFT OF SIGHT OH shirt similar to the ones I attractively modeled in-country :)
NEW SCHOOL: Ted Gacomis, P.E. said he has a "special feeling" about the school volunteers substantially completed in Buena Inversion and "knows it will succeed". Ted is more generous with his time, resources, friends, clubs than you can imagine-and hes the most modest guy and might get mad if I was more specific and listed his outstanding contributions. TRUST ME: I nominate Ted for OH 2018 MVP!
After my son Todd worked with my quick block laying brother Steve for a day at the job site; Todd commented "how much older is Steve than YOU?"..haaaa. Steve is 6 years older and apparently enjoys a work ethic thats 10 years younger! Thank you! team for hosting fun Noah and Todd at the jobsite. Noah "I defintely want to come back again..that was awesome".
GIFT OF SIGHT: Congratulations to Dra. Alexandra Wasmanski, Matthew Petlock, Vasanth Prabhu, Dr Carlos Zelaya and his team of 3 technicians & Karen DeMatteo for delivering brand new prescription eye glasses to 1863 of the poorest of the poor. This makes almost 4000 OH delivered. Vasanth is leading a partnership project where 138 of our eye glass patients (plus 2 surgeries at Manos Amigos) have already received free cataract surgery from local Lions Club clinic; there are 200+ more now scheduled. Vasanth simply gives sight to the blind and is leading a second event in Ecuador where 300 patient exams will be submitted to OH on or prior to March 31, 2018. I discussed our project with several other optometry mission teams while in-country. We are modest-but I find ours to be by far the best given: individual prescriptions (as opposed to offering used eye glasses which are close); means test (our hosts make sure patients are the financially neediest..others dont), and our patients select there own frames (others are used frames or a 'standard fits all' frame). We want our patients to feel they look good. And our 3 step 'GIFT OF SIGHT business model' referenced in 12/21/7 email is now our international model.
FRESH WATER PROJECT: Congratulations to Barbara & Edwin Belon for a 3 year, $80,000 ROTARY matching grant project that provides a new well and distribution system to supply approximately 1500 people with fresh water in a neighborhood outside Tocoa. The water is now flowing! The current water supply was filled with bacteria. Barbara and Edwin are so smart; 68 neighborhood children will be tested by a local University now, and 1 and 6 months after fresh water distribution system is completed. This will show the positive health effects of fresh water. TOCOA ROTARY introduced us to civil engineers passionate about serving the neediest and most interested in water projects that would:
1) produce country wide water evaluation data to find the greatest needs
2) use bacteria data from Belons' project to communicate to donors. What if Belons project reduces bacteria related illness by 60% and these preventable illnesses have a 1% casualty rate over a 2 year period? Then data could prove the Belons literally save 2? lives on average every year. That's rewarding. Maybe OH will be well guys in 2019!
ALBERTO CHEDRANI (school by the damn) TEACHER SPONSORSHIP: I hope our most generous heros John & Joanne Gillespie, John Johnson, Vasanth Prebhu and Jim & Merry Maxwell dont get mad-they are incredibly modest and often anonymous giving individuals and may not want me to mention their generosity. They just pledged the entire 2018 budget amount $10,700 for teachers, security guards, custodian, supplies, etc. necessary to fund the school for 2018! Thank God for their generosity. It was extra special when we held the GIFT OF SIGHT event in chapel adjacent to our school; very lucky.
AUGUST 2018 GIFT OF SOUND: Thank God Starkey Foundation is returning and adding 1500 patients to the 10,000+ poor Hondurans already fitted with new hearing aids thru OH over the past 20+ years. OH volunteers delivered 4 duffle bags of event supplies-MUCH APPRECIATED by Starkey. They have asked OH to again host the event with our best friend Angela Ardon. Very lucky. And we are trying hard to support our best friend Vasanth and his goal to provide THE GIFT OF SOUND TO BRAZIL through Starkey Foundation. Very lucky.
DELIVERY OF DENTAL SUPPLIES: Thank you Rick Sabato of Dunmore Rotary for contributing between $3000 & $5,000 of dental supplies. Christof tells me this is a dollar for dollar savings to the orphanage recipient of poor children living around the school by the damn. Very lucky.
I'm wiring $3500?+ (i left receipt at the lake) to Christof for building receipts he gave me in addition to the $6823 ($4323+$2500) already wired from the WYOMING VALLEY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH "WVPC" account. We say WVPC is the 'foundation' of OH and Rotary is the 'backbone'. WVPC kindly accepts donations to OH under successful guidelines used the past 20+ years which include donors designating funds such as: "building materials", "GIFT OF SIGHT", "personal airfare", etc. This means 100% of that money goes to donors choice. If there is no memo, the donations are used where needed most. There are no administrative fees (there are but volunteers pay them out of their own pocket). In part to lessen burden on WVPC; the donor checks have to be mailed to me; I then copy and mail to WVCP and copy donor. This provides WVPC 100% accountability for funds they generously accept on our behalf. WVPC checks are then issued to entity, Capri Optics, for example, or me personally to wire funds or give cash to Christof or other-then receipts are provided to WVPC. I'm personally responsible to WVPC for how the money is spent; Im sure that's 1 reason they offer this courtesy. Some OH volunteers, including me, simply choose to give directly to Christof, or other good in-country partners like Angela Ardon, Tocoa Rotary, etc through cash or wire transfer without using the WVPC OH account.
BILLY IS ENGAGED! Our best friend is engaged to a beautiful Honduran girl he met on one of our trips. I understand "Uncle Ted" tried talking him in to getting married in Honduras during one of the trips so we could all attend? I think they plan to get married in USA. May I offer my Lake Sheridan cottages for the summer event? Connie and I may be co-hosting an OH summer get together-maybe same weekend so we can all attend? I'm the optimist! Haaaa. Forgive me Billy but we all love you!-you're just the guy that you have to hug when you havent seen for a while-your great smile is just contagious. Congratulations! again!
CONCLUSION: Yes, "finally" as my daughter Lauren would say. Thank you! to wonderful OH volunteers that accomplished so much but had to make this trip their last. We know you are cheering for us and will hopefully review crazy new OH well/water plans (Ted) if asked-and maybe you will come down just to check up on our progress? You sacrificed and stored your treasures in schools, orphanages, and other good heavenly causes-congratulations.
If we use all our intellectual capital, and provide opportunities for volunteer labor, and until Christof sends us an email "gringos: there are no more needs in Honduras-and we runned out of beer!", we will be making our February trips. If we do our job, our 'retired' OH volunteers will send us all the help we need plus some.
People ask "why do you keep going down after so many years?". I would tell them to read above. And in August Matt Petlock and I will be in Tegucigalpa and likely witness a mother cry when her little boy can hear her voice for the first time in his life-I might cry with her.... thinking of my boys and how lucky we are to have this opportunity. I met one of Vasanths patients-this grandmother told me she was blind and now can see and work in her family store thanks to him. School by the damn looks good and is now funded. Diseases will be prevented thanks to Belons and bacteria free water. This is good.
Yours in Service,
201 Bear Creek Blvd.-Suite A
Plains Twp., PA 18702
gift of sight
VOLUNTEER:You will need to budget an estimated $1100.00 plus miscellaneous costs associated with passport, vaccinations, etc
construction & medical
gift of sound