Dustin's Dream is gearing up for its fourth annual medical mission trip to the Heart of Love Clinic in Guatemala City.
In June, the nonprofit will be leading a team of 10 people to the clinic to help provide medical care to people who live in the area. The clinic is located in the largest garbage dump in the world and serves the people who struggle to survive there.
Dustin's Dream was founded to honor the life of Dustin Chamberlain, who planned on becoming a doctor and serving as a missionary. In 2011, he was tragically killed during a home invasion while home on Christmas break from Baylor University.
Dustin's family and friends started Dustin's Dream to fulfill his plans, and the nonprofit raised money to build and help operate the clinic. The first floor of the clinic was completed in 2014 and the third floor was finished in 2017, bringing the size of the facility to 7,000 square feet. The third floor includes rooms for pediatric development and speech therapy, as well as a technology area with WiFi where local children can do their homework.
Currently, the clinic serves more than 800 people a month and provides general medical care, physical therapy, pediatric therapy and dental services. Dustin's Dream splits the cost of operating expenses with Life of Hope Ministry in Joplin, Mo.
The mission trip in June will be the second that Dustin's Dream has led on its own and the first that occurred over the summer months instead of during spring break, according to Dustin's mother Deondra Chamberlain. The mission team plans to take about $4,000 worth of medical supplies on the upcoming trip, she said.
Dustin's Dream will have a Night with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on May 25 to raise money to help cover the cost of the medications. During the evening, the organization will have a chance to set up a table near the entrance of the ballpark, have a video about their organization on the big screen and even throw out the first pitch. They will also have the chance to have a banner hang in the ballpark for the rest of the season.
Up to 50 percent of the ticket sales from the Night with the Naturals will go towards Dustin's Dream. Tickets are $8 and must be purchased through Dustin's Dream by May 15, she said.
Deondra said that mission team members will include local dentist Dr. Trent McCord and his wife Sarah McCord, a nurse practitioner, along with local physician, Dr. Carl Duncan and his daughter, and nurse Carrie Stock. John Brown University nursing students and translators will help with the trip as well. Another team of JBU students will also be arriving at the clinic the week before the Dustin's Dream team, and will continue to stay while they are there, she said.
While on the trip, the medical team expects to treat up to 180 patients a day, Deondra said. They will also be teaching classes about earthquake and fire safety, basic first aid, and health issues such as obesity and diabetes. In addition, the team will spend at least one day helping at a home for girls in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, several hours away.
Deondra said she is looking forward to seeing Dr. Layla Chanquin, who runs the clinic, as well as the other families she has gotten to know in Guatemala.
"I'm just looking forward to working with Dr. Layla and seeing the people that we've established relationships with," she said. "They kind of know who we are now and they're so excited we're there and appreciative of everything we do. So I'm just kind of excited to see some of those same families."
There are many needs and opportunities to help in Guatemala, and in the future Deondra said Dustin's Dream would like to make more frequent trips to the clinic and take larger teams that can help with other areas such as construction and children's ministry.
Dustin's Dream is also making strides in the local community. The nonprofit is set to give 11 scholarships to Siloam Springs High School students who plan to go into medical professions this month. Dustin's Dream has also gotten involved with Bright Futures Siloam Springs, an organization within the school district that partners with the community to make sure student's needs are met.
For more information about Dustin's Dream, visit dustinsdream.net. To purchase tickets to the upcoming Night with the Naturals, call Don or Deondra Chamberlain at 479-549-7005 or Johnnie Austin at 918-346-7234.General News on 05/06/2018
Print Headline: Dustin's Dream planning fourth trip to Guatemala