Earlier this year, six American nurses traveled thousands of miles for a week-long trip to coastal Ecuador, as featured in the Fall 2012 issue of Scrubs. But they weren’t taking a much-needed beach vacation–they were there to work.
These nurses, along with 10 other volunteers, were part of theÂ Healing the Children mission, an organization which provides first-class medical care to patients in need around the world.
Healing the Children organizes medical teams and sends them to host countries, where they treat children and young adults for free. Since 1979, the organization has treated more than 220,986 children through their international and domestic missions.
The medical teams travel on their own dime to the host countries. They also bring with them bags of toys, medication and medical equipment to donate to the communities they serve.
Although the work is grueling, hours long and costsÂ off-putting, the nurses who volunteer for these missions return home changed for the better. Says nurse Linda Harper, who went on the mission to Ecuador, “Even though you pay to go on these trips, you come back richer.”
Want to get involved? Visit the Healing the Children website for more information, including a calendar of upcoming medical trips.
Get the full story and other features that appear in the Fall 2012 print edition of Scrubs magazine.
Images:Â Pablo Corral Vega
Editor’s Note: Most of the mission trips cost betweenÂ $7,000 and $12,000Â total. The volunteers pay for their own airfare, which can be $1,000-$2,000, while the organization typically pays for meals, lodging and travel within the host country.Â