Volunteers heading to Guatemala

AUSTINTOWN – Since 1989, Mission of Love has provided needed medical assistance and help to people not only in the United States but in parts of the world.

Kathleen Price, executive director of the organization of Austintown, said she and 18 others will be leaving in February for Guatemala.

Medical supplies and construction equipment were airlifted this month through the Denton airlift program on a C5 Hercules plane at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna to those areas. A school bus is also being sent and will be shipped from South Carolina.

The mission trip is to help the Mayan children, many of whom are orphans and some who are blind, deaf, sick and in need of education.

Price said there was a mission trip last spring and fall to Guatemala, where cleft palate surgeries to 27 children were performed and hearing aides provided to deaf children.

In recent years the organization has taken trips to Pine Ridge Native American Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Japan, Uganda and Honduras.

Mission of Love has sent 2,155 comfort quilts to Japan following their disasters. Quilts were also sent to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Haiti. Also to these areas, disaster relief supplies were sent, she said.

At the reservation, the volunteers helped those there become self-sufficient, she said. They have built homes, a greenhouse and market to improve living conditions.

Through the Denton program health items, school supplies, clothing and other items have been sent. Price said Mission of Love is the largest user of the Denton program in the nation airlifting medical, educational, and basic needs to people in need.

The organization’s motto is, “You are not here to save the world but to touch the hands that are within your reach” Price said

The nonprofit humanitarian relief organization supports indigenous efforts on a grassroots level. The organization responds to human needs, such as education, health and homes.

For information, visit www.missionoflove.org call 330-793-2388.