It seems there are “weeks” for everything from the serious to the unusual. In fact yesterday was not only part of “National Volunteer Week“, it was the end of “aPaws International Pooper Scooper Week”. (How did I miss that?!) National Volunteer Week is intended to inspire, recognize, and encourage service to others.
Volunteers give of themselves and their time. But most who have volunteered would say it is also a tremendous blessing to them. They discover that they receive so much from the experience and the people they encounter. That would describe the experience Dr. Olson had during his November trip to Addis Ababa Ethiopia with the Luis Palau Association.
This was the second year Dr. Olson traveled to Africa to help people with little access to basic eye care. Temporary clinics were set up throughout the city in churches, with each manned by a team of volunteers. For one week people came by the thousands to receive free reading glasses. For many, the restored ability to read or to perform a task like tailoring was life-changing. More complex issues were addressed by Drs. Olson and Morse. This and other outreaches to the city were followed by a large weekend festival event with music, entertainment, and presentation of the Good News of Jesus.
Did the Palau team volunteers impact the city of Addis Ababa that week? Those who experienced it would say yes, and the repercussions will continue to unfold. Were individual lives impacted? We’re aware of many who were deeply affected by this expression of God’s love for them. Were the volunteers themselves positively impacted? Absolutely! The people met, the friendships established, the love felt, combined with the cultural interaction, is as life-changing as any “eye-opening” experience in the physical sense. That’s probably why Jesus himself said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
P.S. Though I’ve been writing posts for Complete EyeCare Center’s website and facebook page from the start, this the first post I’ve officially written as Mt Pleasant Eye Doctor (‘s Wife). I initially assumed the web-posting role not only because of the time it demands, but also because it’s easier for me to express things in a non-technical way when that’s my perspective. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that divulging that perspective could be helpful. I’m a Mom (and now a Grandma!) I’ve been in the shoes of those trying to decide on a good doctor or when to go. I’ve been the keeper of the budget. I’m someone who appreciates great design, and is interested in knowing what’s new and better (and I’m always learning something I didn’t know!) So I guess you could say that, in a way that’s obviously limited by my own experience, I have tried to be a patient representative or advocate for you. So as part of this new-found transparency, I’m also going to open up the comment feature for you to be able to give feedback. Some will be for my own viewing and others published. I invite you to help direct the content of this site so it has things that are truly useful and of interest to you. After all, that’s who it’s for!