When Kari Daffron and Julie Schieferstein boarded a plane bound for Guatemala last month, they weren’t sure what to expect as they embarked on their first Timmy medical service trip. “I had a fear when coming [on the trip] because I knew that we as a group, and even I, couldn’t fix every problem, but [as it turns out] that’s not why we are here.”
Kari, Content & Public Relations Manager (pictured above), and Julie, Merchandising Manager, both of One Click Ventures joined 12 other general volunteers and medical professionals on the recent Young (and Young at Heart!) Professionals group to serve patients in the Western highlands surrounding Xela, Guatemala. And while they weren’t able to “fix every problem,” as Kari mentioned, they did as a team treat 422 patients, 65 of whom received a referral for follow-up treatment at a clinic run by Timmy’s partner, Pop Wuj.
Julie and Kari were selected by One Click, the parent company of Readers.com and Sunglass Warehouse, to represent the company that has donated 12,000 pieces of eyewear to Timmy to date. One Click has been the primary supplier of reading glasses and sunglasses for Timmy’s communities across Latin America for the past 3 years. “A lot of people assume we [just] donate glasses and are done. It’s not just donating the pair of glasses, but we volunteer with Timmy – seeing the whole process from packing the boxes to handing them to patients,” Kari says of One Click’s on-going partnership with Timmy. “We’ve seen them get to the people that need them – actually diagnose them with their strength and tell them how to use them properly.”
What came as a surprise to both Julie and Kari was the different ways having reading glasses can improve these patient’s lives. “It was truly eye opening to think of all of the other ways reading glasses could be a necessity. They need [reading glasses] for everything from weaving to cooking to a woman who produced woven shirts in her living room. It was an amazing feeling to give Timmy patients the resources to see clearly so they could help support their families,” commented Julie.
“One of One Click’s core values is spreading happiness beyond the four walls of their company,” Kari shared near the end of the trip. “Being able to have this opportunity, I saw this core value in a different light. It has a whole different meaning now.”