Visiting Volunteers Hand Off to Locals – Friday, March 12, 2010

Jay and Gary install shelves for teaching materials at CAM School

Jay and Gary install shelves for teaching materials at CAM School

WHEW . . . It was a race to the finish for Mission Volunteers to deliver projects and donations to Jose’s family, the CAM school, and NUAFA on March 2, the last “official” day of the Mission Trip.

We surpassed our goal of recruiting 8-10 participants for this Mission Trip sponsored by Friends of Cozumel. Fifteen volunteers participated (6 Cozumel residents and 9 visitors from Iowa, Nebraska and Texas). All visiting volunteers added extra days before or after the February 24 – March 2 Mission Trip to assist with preparation, follow-up or to enjoy some well deserved vacation time here on the island.

I’m feeling a bit of withdrawal now that Phyllis and Gary, the last visiting volunteers returned to the US on Wednesday. It is quiet, tranquil . . . no more noise from power tools; no one is lamenting for the 100th time we didn’t have a table saw; no more paint and varnish fumes to endure; no more schedules or logistics to arrange or change for the umpteenth time; no more laughter and gentle ribbing among friends during the daily Happy Hours we all looked forward to sharing.

KUDOS to Phyllis, our Mission Trip blogger, for sharing her perspective of our experiences in her daily posts. Although we’ve taken a brief hiatus from posting . . . I assure you the mission project work is continuing with the hand off to local volunteers. Promoting volunteerism and developing local leadership skills is one of our goals for efforts sponsored by Friends of Cozumel.

Ray and Ramiro install the door frame for Jose’s family

Ray and Ramiro install the door frame for Jose’s family

Ramiro, a friend of Ray and Sandy’s who is a local woodworker, offered his expertise to custom build an external door for Jose’s family’s kitchen project. This is first time Jose’s family has had a way to lock and secure their belongings. Ramiro was a tremendous resource prior to the Mission Trip as he went with Ray and Sandy to price lumber and identify the best places to buy supplies.

Teens learn carpentry and life skills at CAM

Teens learn carpentry and life skills at CAM

Developmentally disabled young men ages 14-22 who attend the CAM school’s carpentry skills training classes are building simple wall mounted shelves for classrooms like the one Jay and Gary are shown installing in the photo above. We donated a “model” for them to use as well as the wood, hardware and paint. They are providing the labor. They are also sanding and painting a table for a child in a wheelchair designed by Mission Trip volunteers.

CAM has tools, but needs wood and project ideas

CAM has tools, but needs wood and project ideas

The CAM school is fortunate to have an excellent wood shop instructor and tools for the teens to use to learn. What they lack, however, is an ongoing supply of materials and “real” projects to make. See CAM’s wish list of needs. Donating materials like wood scraps goes a long way in getting these teens involved in projects where they and others can see the results . . . and it is a great boost to their self confidence.

Providing opportunities to learn and contribute . . . that’s what it’s all about! – – Karen

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