A local business owner is choosing to spend her first trip outside of North America giving back.
Jessie Strype, owner and operator of Blink Eyewear in Collingwood, will be spending 10 days on a medical mission trip to Bolivia in October to provide critical eye care to those in need. Strype is looking to raise $4,000 for the trip, however, if she exceeds her goal, extra funds will go toward Medical Ministry International. As of Friday, about $2,400 had been raised.
“It would mean we could do more surgeries or see more people,” said Strype. “I’ve always had the dream to do one of these trips. When the opportunity presented itself post-COVID I thought, there’s no time like the present.”
Strype will be travelling through Medical Ministry International’s Hamilton office.
“They do projects all over the world and different types of care,” said Strype. “I’m very excited.”
On Monday, Sept. 26, Low Down will be hosting a Bingo and Baos for Bolivia fundraiser. The evening will include a special menu bao item and special cocktail, bingo hosted by Katinka Kature and a silent auction with items donated by local businesses. Funds raised through the bingo and auction will go toward Strype’s trip. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
“Giving back is important to me in all ways. I like being a community supporter (through) charities and fundraising events,” said Strype. “On a bigger scale, health care can be the last thing people think about, especially vision. Having the ability through my medical profession to be able to lend a hand and make a difference that way is satisfying.
According to World Population Review, Bolivia is the poorest nation in Latin America. More than 80 per cent of the nation’s population lives in poverty.
“There’s not a lot of access there. There are so many vision problems that can lead to blindness but are so easily remedied in North America. It’s important when there’s a relatively simple solution,” said Strype.
Strype says she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of Collingwood residents.
“The community is really making this attainable for me to go through their donations,” said Strype. “Collingwood is so supportive. I feel extreme gratitude.”
If you’d like to make a direct donation, they can be made through Blink Eyewear’s website here.