The Garys Are Back From Guatemala

The Gary Family has returned this past Sunday, August 2nd from Guatemala. I spoke briefly to Shelli Gary and she said the trip was fantastic! So many happy people, happy faces receiving much needed eyeglasses/sunglasses/and drug store reading glasses.

I am currently awaiting a full report from Shelli informing us in detail, along with a flicker page of photos of their fabulous trip. Thanks to you and all who were so kind and generous with donations, we could not possibly be happier…except of course for the folks in Guatemala who are thrilled to have their lives changed by being able to see clearly!

Awesome job and once again we are going to be posting additional information about the Gary family’s trip!

Handing Out Eyeglasses In Guatemala

The Gary Family is now in Guatemala assisting in dispensing the 1,730 pair of Prescription Eyeglasses collected by Be Kind to Humankind (BK2HK) and other sources here in the U.S. Shelli Gary estimates that BK2HK collected over 1,500 pair!

BK2HK has helped to triple the amount of eyeglasses brought to Guatemala this summer. Last summer the Garys brought over an estimated 500 pair! We give much thanks to all of those who participated in helping to change people’s lives for the better in Guatemala!

Within the next two weeks we will be posting the Gary’s return trip home with a new Flickr Page of photos, their story about their trip, and a detailed list of all whom have helped to make this possible!

Over 1,000 Pairs of Prescription Eyeglasses Collected for Guatemala So Far!!!

Hurray! Thanks to so many generous people BK2HK has collected over 1,000 pairs of used prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses for the folks in Guatemala! We cannot thank you enough for your efforts to help these folks. We will have a complete update in late July as to how many eyeglasses we were able to collect for the Gary family’s trip to Guatemala which is taking place in July.

Also, we will share a list of those who participated in the collection. The collection will go on indefinitely, as the Garys make this trip every summer.

See the Ann Arbor News article here. BK2HK looks forward to June when we can estimate how many pairs of eye wear we have collected! Thank you again and please continue to donate.

Much Kindness and Appreciation to All.

Update 11/4/2010: Eyeglasses are no longer being collected. Thanks to everyone who has made a donation.

Prescription Used Eyeglass Donations For Guatemala

The Gary family is taking up a collection of used unwanted prescription eyeglasses for the men, women and children of Guatemala. The Gary family has gone to Guatemala for the past 2 summers bringing these much needed eyeglasses to the people there. If you have any used eyeglasses which you no longer wear, please mail them to the address below. An idea to pass along to you is to take a small box and hold onto it while asking any friends/family if they have eyeglasses for donation. Once you have filled the box, then please mail it to the address below.

The folks of Guatemala are in crucial need of our help. I understand that many of the children lack proper education and perform under average in academics because of their poor eyesight.

Update 11/5/2010: Eyeglasses are no longer being collected. Thanks to everyone who has made a donation.

The Gary Family Travels to Guatemala

On June 14, a team of nine from Connexions Church in Dexter, MI, will be headed to San Juan Sacatepéquez, Guatemala on a mission trip to serve the needs of the people in the community. Among the team will be the Gary Family, who will be returning to Guatemala for their second time in less than a year.

The following is written by Shelli Gary.

Last year we were in the Mayan Highlands in Santa Apolonia. The town was beautiful, and full of the traditional Mayan culture, that has not changed much over the years. The women and young girls still wear the traditional Mayan Huipals and Cortes (hand woven and multi-colored tops and wrap skirts). We served in a church by hosting a children’s fair and Vacation Bible School for more than 250 children! But, it was the Mayan people who captured our hearts and we fell in love with them. The Mayans are very warm and beautiful people, and very family oriented. It is not uncommon to see older siblings carrying their younger brothers and sisters around on their hip, or grandfathers carrying their grandchildren around on their shoulders. The family unit is very strong in the Mayan culture. But we also witnessed much need. There is great need for health education and medical and dental services, and the illiteracy rate is 64%, one of the highest in Central America.

When we head back to Guatemala next week, we will be taking lots of supplies with us to help meet these needs. Our team has been blessed by so many individuals and organizations with donations. The Dexter Lion’s Club and other individuals have donated over 500 pairs of used eyeglasses that we will be taking! Local Optometrists in the Dexter area have been reading the strengths and coding the glasses for us, so that we will be able to give simple eye exams to help the people pick out a pair of glasses that will help them see more clearly. In the Mayan communities, it is very difficult to have access to eyeglasses, and most go without. The cost of a pair of eyeglasses is worth 2 months salary to most, in addition to the cost of transportation to get into Guatemala City and the cost to see an Optometrist. These will be a big blessing to the people!

A local Rotary Club, who has in interest in Literacy, has donated 50 lbs. of Spanish children’s books! The collection of books includes both fiction and non-fiction and will be a huge blessing to the teachers and students of a school in San Juan Sacatepéquez! We are excited to spend a morning at the school and offer a brief geography lesson about Michigan and teach a bit of English (numbers and colors) with the students.

We will also have the great opportunity to teach dental hygiene to a group of 100 children and 40 teens. Thanks to the generosity of local dentists and many individuals, we are taking dental hygiene kits for these children and for their parents. Many people have been dropping off small tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes for us to make these kits and we are very thankful. I don’t know if people realize how their small act of generosity and sharing will make such a huge difference in the life of another individual.

We had a request by the church who is hosting our team, to teach about pre-natal and post-natal care along with family nutrition. We have a nurse on our team who will be teaching basic nutrition and personal care, and we will also participate in a group question and answer time. Remember, many of the women cannot read and have little or no access to medical care, other than the community midwife. It will be a very special time, as we also learn more about the lives of Mayan women. There is a local senior center here where women have been knitting baby hats for us to take. We will be giving these to expecting mothers. We are also taking prenatal vitamins to share, that will greatly improve the health of the pregnant mother and her baby. The infant mortality rate is an alarming 50% in some of the Mayan communities.

Our team will be staying in the church that is hosting us, sleeping on the cement floor in sleeping bags. I hear it is the rainy season in June and a bit chilly in the highlands (we will be at a 5,000 ft. elevation). We will eat fresh corn tortillas everyday and the local women will be cooking for our team – it will be delicious! Our boys will have the opportunity to make friends with others their age, and to practice their Spanish. Our team will also have two translators with us who are from Mexico City. They will be an invaluable bridge for our team, not only in the communication, but in bridging the cultural differences.

So many people have made this trip possible for our team with their kindness and generosity. I thank God everyday for this opportunity and know that with Him, all things are possible!

Go to our Flickr page to see photos from the trip last year.

For donation inquiries please contact Shelli at shellig@chartermi.net

2008 National Association of Broadcasters Speech by Tim Robbins

I’ve been saying for over 20 years that I am tired of the media’s hunger for broadcasting unpleasant news, news stories in poor taste and stories which glorify negative sensationalism. Most say we can either choose to watch these programs or simply turn to another station. However, television today is so inundated with foul language, foul behavior, and negative sensationalism that unfortunately there remains very few stations which provide excellent programming.

This is a testimonial by actor/producer Tim Robbins at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Listen to Tim’s speech at NAB. He speaks what I feel.

Music To the Ears and a Kind Act From The Heart!

When violin virtuoso Philippe Quint left a 1723 Antonio Stradivari in a taxi two weeks ago, he was distraught. The $4 million instrument was not only irreplaceable, it was on loan. But the cab driver returned the violin the next morning, and in gratitude, the Grammy-nominated musician will performed a private concert at the Newark airport cab stand.

Violinist plays for taxi driver
Violinist to Serenade Taxi Driver
Philippe Quint homepage

39 Years Ago – This Is Touching

Take the time to check out this one. It needs to be played in every school and building in this country! So many have seem to forgotten the meaning of which Red explains so well.

This is so unbelievable. In 1969, how did he know?

Some of you may remember him but he passed away before many of you were born. Red Skelton was a good and funny man. He also ended every show by saying, “Good Night and God Bless”. Listen to the end of this. It is something he said 39 years ago. Very important that you listen to the very end! Eerie! Take a moment and listen to it (from 1969). How would he have known that this is what is happening?

Click here and turn your sound on.

For the Few Who Don’t Know:

Red Skelton was a movie star and comedian on television back in the 1950s. He created a number of characters, and his show was watched by millions.

Meijer Does It Again!

A big thank you to Meijer Department Store in Scio Twp. Michigan….

The Meijer Department Store on Jackson Road in Scio Township was once again super generous by donating a $250.00 gift card to the Ann Arbor, Robert J. Delonis Homeless Shelter. This is the second year in a row that Meijer has been so wonderful! The money which they donated will help so many people. Please do not forget your home town’s homeless shelters. Donations are always appreciated. Thank You again and Merry Christmas.

The Faded Yellow Ribbon

Our soldiers are now overseas fighting in various countries, for various reasons. Some of those reasons many of us do not understand. We love our brave men and women who risk their lives for our freedom everyday. No…Freedom is not free! And, to all of the families who have lost loved ones in the war -that includes all wars, past and present- how difficult it must be to even begin to forgive the foes who have killed their sons or daughters. Some may think one has to be a saint to be capable of such forgiveness. I think so. But sainthood is open to all of us and being able to forgive comes from prayer. Having the strength to forgive comes from God. Having the power to forgive is a showering of God’s grace upon our hearts, and although time may feel like an enemy in the forgiving process… I think that God’s love and patience is eternal, and He will help our grief. May peace replace the grief you may feel in your heart.

The Faded yellow ribbon tied tight around the tree. A tree so large and lovely, 200 years old is she. Who thought she would be holding a faded ribbon tight. Of someones son or daughter, remembered day and night. We see this yellow ribbon and pray that all goes well. Its not my son or daughter, but I feel they are and tell. I tell my friends and family to keep them in their prayers. For God to hold them closely and wash away their fears. We thank our men and women. While these faded ribbons wave. We never will forget. The sacrifice they gave.

Lorraine Jara 2006

Links:
wilbanksonthewater.blogspot.com