Carolyn Returns from Africa

There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. With it beats the spirit of service, generosity and compassion...and the health and well-being of our community, our country and our world. ~ Kobi Yamada

Many people dream of taking a leap and making a difference in the world. Sadly, for most, it remains just a dream. But there are the golden few who make that dream a reality!

Coronado, CA native Carolyn Aayres has just returned from the trip of a lifetime. Carolyn volunteered in the Food Service area of the world’s largest private hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. Operated by Mercy Ships, the floating hospital has recently arrived in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Carolyn attended a Coronado Coffee event in October of 2009 at the invitation of a friend. Mercy Ships Founder, Don Stephens and wife Deyon, spoke at the 2009 Coffee and Carolyn began application processes immediately. Mercy Ships provides health care to thousands of people in need for free, including corrective surgeries like cleft lip and palate, tumor removal, and orthopedics.

Carolyn raised her own support to pay her way during this entire volunteer adventure. Her heart and mind are changed forever through this experience.

Mercy Ships Key Facts and Figures: Since 1978… Mercy Ships has performed services valued more than $834 million, impacting about 2.9 million people; Performed more than 56,000 operations such as cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed eyes, orthopedic and facial reconstruction; Treated over 520,000 patients in village medical and dental clinics; Educated about 29,000 local health care workers, who have in turn trained multiple thousands in primary health care; Trained local medical professionals in modern health care techniques; Completed over 1,095 community development projects focusing on water and sanitation, education, infrastructure development and agriculture; And completed over 563 port visits in 53 developing nations and 17 developed nations.

Now that Carolyn is back in San Diego, she is ready to share her story with those of you interested in making a difference. Contact me at Kathy.gohmert@mercyships.org and I will connect you with Carolyn.

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