Jun 262013

Happy summer! Our Act Out Now big summer project is underway. Many expressed interest in the hygiene kit collection and assembly we are doing for Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. This is a great opportunity for families with kids of all ages! If you still want to join in on this worthy project, and have yet to contact us, there is still time. Here are all the details of our drive and how it will work.

Who We Are Collecting For

We will be collecting the materials for Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Mission Outreach is a not-for-profit organization that addresses unmet medical needs of people in developing countries. The hygiene kits are a valuable product that help save lives. These kits are used as learning tools in literacy, hygiene, nutrition and health classes. The kits are also distributed to people who understand hygiene, but have limited resources.

Items for Each Hygiene Kit

To assemble one hygiene kit, the following items are required:

  • 1 hand towel
  • 1 wash cloth
  • 1 fingernail clippers (no toenail clippers)
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap (3oz or larger)
  • 1 toothbrush in package (no child-size)
  • 1 tube of toothpaste (6.4oz or larger)
  • 6 band-aids
  • 1 comb (large and sturdy)
  • 1 one-gallon zip lock bags

Our Collection Goal

We have an initial goal of at least 25 hygiene kits (of course more would be great!). We hope each family can commit to a certain number of items (e.g. 25 toothbrushes,15 hand towels, etc.).

How to Collect Items for the Drive

  1. Contact Us: If you are interested in participating in the drive, and have yet to be in touch with us, simply send us a quick e-mail to let us know which item(s) from the list above you would like to focus on.
  2. Get creative with collecting: Some ways that you can collect items might include purchasing the items yourself, trying to collect items from family/friends/neighbors, doing a letter writing campaign to companies to see if they will donate items, etc.
  3. Try a Neighborhood Collection: Here you can download a note that can be attached to bags and left for neighbors—you would just need to fill in the blanks on the note, deliver them throughout your neighborhood, and then go back on the date that you indicated to see if anyone donated items.

The Project Timeline

  1. The Drive: The drive/collection will run through the summer.
  2. The Packing: We will meet with all the donated items in August to assemble the kits. The exact date will be determined as we get closer. The location of the assembly will depend on the total numbers of participants for this drive. (Maybe we’ll meet at one of our homes or at the local library.)
  3. The Field Trip (optional): We are planning to visit Mission Outreach to learn more about what they do on Friday, July 19th. Due to their safety/liability rules, Mission Outreach asks that anyone coming to their facility be at least 9 years of age or older. If this outing interests you, please let us know about that too.

That’s it for now. Thank you again for your assistance with this drive. If you have any questions please let us know. We’re really excited about working with all of you on this project. It’s going to be great.

May 272013

Act Out Now is looking to kick off a project to assist Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach addresses unmet medical needs of people in developing countries. These kits will be used as learning tools in literacy, hygiene, nutrition and health classes. They are also distributed to people who understand personal hygiene but have limited resources. Our project would consist of collecting and assembling materials needed for hygiene kits. This would be a great service project for families with kids of all ages.

We hope to have this project up and running in early June, but right now we want to assess the level of interest in helping with this project. To help us determine the interest, please send us a note in response to the following two questions:

  • Would you be interested in participating in a hygiene kit drive? This would consist of collecting/purchasing materials and then coming together to assemble them. This would be ideal for families with kids of all ages.
  • Would you be interested in participating in a field trip to the Mission Outreach facility? This field trip would be for kids 9 and up. Mission Outreach is located in Bedford Park, IL.

Let us know what you think, and we’ll get this show on the road. It’s going to be a great project. Thank you. We look forward to volunteering with you.

Feb 142013

A small group of us paid a visit to Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach Wednesday, February 13 in Bedford Park, IL. We were welcomed with open arms, given a tour of the facility, informed about the humanitarian concern the organization is working to address, and then put to work. We happily obliged. We worked on the “first sort” of incoming medical supplies which will eventually be shipped to those in need in developing nations. The need is great as we came to understand it. Mary Ann the warehouse supervisor shared a story with us about a visit one of her colleagues recently took to the Dominican Republic where she witnessed a local clinic washing used gauze bandages and laying them out to dry in the sun so they can be reused. As we stood in a warehouse that contained (among so many other things) probably ten thousand such new gauze bandages that if not for the work for Mission Outreach would be on their way to the landfill, we all realized what we take for granted. It’s not uncommon for hospitals and clinics in some parts of the world to wash latex gloves and reuse them multiple times. Anyone over 13 years of age and older is welcomed to volunteer at Mission Outreach, but they particularly are in need of people with some medical equipment knowledge to help in identifying and sorting. Spread the word please.

Opportunity for Younger Kids

Act Out Now is always on the hunt for service-learning opportunities for younger children. After some conversation with the folks at Mission Outreach, it looks like our kids might be able to help in the assembling of “hygiene hits” which the organization puts together and sends in response to natural disasters when they occur. This is something families could do on their own–or one we could come together as a group to work on. We’re still working out some of the details around this, but look for more on this soon. In the meantime, if you or your family might be interested in helping with this effort, please drop a comment below or e-mail us directly so we know.

Feb 052013

A small group of four from Act Out Now are off to visit the nonprofit Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach in Bedford Park, IL on Wednesday, February 13th. This outing is already full, as they could only accept a small group of us for this first visit. Future visits are in the works, though.

The Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach is a ministry of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. They are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that addresses the serious unmet medical needs of people in developing countries and promotes a more green-friendly environment through a medical recovery and responsible redistribution program.

Surplus medical equipment and supplies are recovered primarily from hospitals, clinics, and major medical manufacturers in Illinois and Wisconsin. Upon request, these items are sent to healthcare providers in developing countries around the world.

Mission Outreach has various onsite volunteer opportunities available for anyone 13 and older. Volunteer opportunities include: sorting medical supplies, data entry, preparing shipments, etc. They do have a few sit-down jobs available. A medical background is not necessary to volunteer; however, if you do posses special medical skills and training please inform the volunteer associate prior to your volunteer experience as it can be beneficial.

Act Out Now hopes to be working more closely with Mission Outreach after this first visit, including exploring ways for younger children to possibly get involved with this organization by working offsite preparing much needed hygiene kits. In the meantime if you’d like to get involved individually with Mission Outreach, you can lean more at mission-outreach.org.