Mission Opportunities at Annual Conference Session
A longstanding tradition at Annual Conference Session has been the collection of eye glasses and hearing aids – and, more recently, cell phones – for donation to those in need. The letter announcing this year's Conference invited those attending to "bring cell phones, hearing aids, and eye glasses in good repair to the Session. There will also be an opportunity to donate blood."
The California-Nevada Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Office is providing support to process the cell phones that are donated. The cell phones help fund the Western Jurisdiction UMVIM Office expenses (that is the office that helps Cal-Nevada UMVIM connect with national and international mission opportunities throughout The United Methodist Church). However, neither UMVIM nor the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has a program for distribution of the other items. Other volunteers – individuals or organizations – are needed to take responsibility for collecting the eye glasses and hearing aids and getting them to an organization that can use them.
If you are a member of a group (perhaps a Sunday School class, UMW or United Methodist Men chapter, or a service organization such as Rotary) that would be interested in taking on this project – or if you represent a team such as Medical Missionaries that could make use of the glasses and/or hearing aids and would be willing to oversee collection and distribution – please contact UMVIM Director Sue King at (916) 374-1582, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, King suggests that people donating glasses, hearing aids, and cell phones make a monetary donation toward the cost of shipment. Such costs can be high, she says, and may not be provided for in a budget; philanthropic groups often rely on donations to cover shipping expenses.