To the Editor:
Over 25 years ago, two men had an idea on how to use their talents to serve others. Out of that idea came I Care International. The men are the late Dr. Chuck Cools of Princeton and the other is Dr. Phil Ortiz of Ortiz Eye Associates of Morris. I Care has served many people locally and internationally. It is a non-religious, non-political and non-discriminatory organization that works to improve the quality of life for others by providing the gift of better vision and health.
I Care volunteers assist to perform eye exams on people who have very limited access to medical care. Since the inception of I Care in 1989, it has provided over 65 missions.
When choosing an area internationally, it is often to a remote area where the people have never had an eye exam or the opportunity to get glasses. Last week the volunteers returned from a mission trip in Honduras.
Almost 1,300 people were examined. Many received previously used donated glasses and 55 people received eye surgery to restore their sight. It is a humbling experience to be a part of this mission and it takes many different people to make this happen.
Each volunteer must pay their own airfare. This year getting to the airport was extremely challenging as it was necessary to travel through a blizzard in the middle of the night to get there. Shawn Hornsby and Bruce Flatness of Hornsby/Coleman Century 21 offered to drive their small bus with some of the volunteers and many of the supplies.
The team arrived safely to the airport. Shawn and Bruce even picked them up for the return trip back to Morris. I Care is very grateful for this act of kindness.
It takes many, many people to make a successful mission. Some people are able to participate directly, some support financially, some donate their used glasses and some through their well wishes. Thank you all for the opportunity for someone else to receive the gift of improved vision. It is life changing for the people who received this gift.
I Care is very appreciative of everyone who made it possible for the mission trip to Honduras. For information about I Care, please contact the office at 880 Bedford Road in Morris, or call 815-942-8004. As I volunteer, I would also be happy to share my experience with anyone in learning more about I Care International.