Last week, my staff Barbara and Tori, my oldest son Ryan, and myself, returned to U.S. soil. We spent several days in Mexico. Our mission was simple: help thousands of people see better and feel better. I’m happy to report that we, along with a team of 30 volunteers, can call it: MISSION COMPLETE. We helped 3,000 people over the course of four days. We gave out 1,800 pairs of sunglasses and 1,500 pairs of prescription glasses. We couldn’t have done it without donations from our patients, just like you. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
There was a moment when I realized that we might not be able to help everyone. Picture this… A constant line of people, stretching 50 strong…non-stop...for eight hours a day. It was a tall, yet honorable, task realizing every single person in line was seeking our help. As you might imagine, there wasn’t much down time. In fact, I remember taking a brief moment to seek out my son, on the other side of the room, to see how he was doing. Turns out, there was no time for complaining or boredom from my 14-year-old. He was locked-in and laser focused on his tasks:
- Putting drops in people’s eyes
- Checking people’s eye pressure
- Documenting important numbers
- Handing out glasses
He was great! He loved every moment of it. And as a father, that was awesome to see.
But here’s where my moment of uncertainty hit me…
As the supply of generous donations started to run low, the line of people was anything but. We had given away thousands of pairs of glasses, but there were still more people in need of them. I remember one particular man who needed a very specific prescription to help him see better. From the other side of the room, I could see people start looking around. At this point, we were all trying to work with what we had left… but it didn’t appear we had what he needed. So I hopped up from my side of the room, communicated with the man through somewhat of a language barrier, sifted through the small selection of glasses still available… and was lucky enough to find the exact prescription he needed. The brief obstacle proved to be a small success that made our overall mission feel like a large one… because it truly was.
Barbara and Tori experienced a memorable moment, when some of the people they helped see better, returned to personally thank them with hand-picked, juicy plums… and a big smile. And that’s what it’s all about. The people we helped walked away seeing better…And all of us walked away feeling better. Our team from BayState Eye Center returned with a renewed appreciation. The gift of sight is the greatest gift you can give someone.
That’s why we’re already looking forward to our next mission: Jamaica, October 2019
Thank you so much,
Dr. Timothy Lynch, Optometrist