COME BY CHANCE, NL— “Once of these days I’m going to do that,” Loretta Ryan told herself after hearing a presentation a few years back at a Lion’s Club convention by a member or who had volunteered with Team Broken Earth.
That volunteer relief organization lends aid to the less fortunate in countries such as Haiti, Bangladesh and Guatemala.
Now Loretta is fulfilling her goal.
Ryan, a member of the Come By Chance Lions Club, is leaving for Nicaragua, South America, on Feb. 16 to assist with an eye treatment clinic, including provide eye exams, glasses, and information to those in need.
She told The Packet she will be assisting with the screening process and helping people decide which doctor they should see.
Loretta has been a Lion for 21 years, holding several different positions within the local club. She has also held several district titles over the years, but this will be here first-time volunteering outside the country.
While many might be daunted by the thought of traveling to a foreign country for the first time and throwing themselves into relief work, Loretta says she’s not a bit worried.
“I’m not worried at all, not from day one,” she says.
Instead, she says that she’s excited for the trip and can’t wait to set there and get busy.
She will be joined by members of Memorial University’s Lion’s Club, including Kelsie Lockyer of Arnold’s Cove. Lockyer was a member of the local Leo club, under Loretta’s supervision.
The team also includes members of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s Lion’s Club and Team Broken Earth, including several eye doctors.
The Come by Chance Lions Club provided $1,000 for Loretta’s trip, but other costs associated with the trip, including immunizations, vaccines, prescriptions, antibiotics, come out of her own pocket.
Loretta says that Come by Chance town council has donated toward the trip, and that there will be a cold plate fundraiser on Monday, Feb. 12.
Both the town’s donation and the funds raised by the cold plate fundraiser will help to replenish the $1,000 that the club spent.
She will return to Canada Feb. 23, after what she hopes will be an unforgettable trip.