Thursday, June 25, 2015
We've been volunteering on the AFRICA MERCY for two years now. As most of you know, it's a hospital ship that provides free surgeries and healthcare education to the poorest people in the world. I'm no surgeon and Mick's no nurse - I am volunteering in the Supply department and Mick keeps the machinery working and the poo disappearing.
We don't get paid to do this. We give our time and expertise to serve aboard the AFRICA MERCY for free. Or you could say, we donate our potential earnings to the organisation as Gifts in Kind.
Not only that, but we have to pay to live onboard the ship - things like food and accommodation, compulsory health insurance, school fees and all the usual things you need like toiletries, cleaning gear, clothing and shoes for growing boys! Roughly it costs us A$38,000 per year ( just over $3k a month) to serve and it gets better or worse depending on what the Aussie dollar is doing.
How do we pay for this?
Firstly, we have rented out our home - the leftovers that the mortgage doesn't swallow, come to us.
Secondly, our church - Bayside Community Church - raises the funds for the boys education each year. An amazing blessing.
Third, a few family and friends have donated money to Mercy Ships Australia and designated it to come to the Dunne family. They get a tax deductible receipt and it finds its way into our bank account.
Fourth, we have some savings.
So, why are we writing about this now?
Because we are going back again and we need your help to stay there. Simply put, we have a finite amount of savings which will cover our expenses for a period of time. Beyond that, we need to build a support base.
Asking for help, financial or otherwise, is a tricky thing in modern Australia. It goes against the grain. We all grow up wanting to be independent and successful in what we do.
However, Mick and I have seen a different type of success. Success for us now is measured on a different scale - one of shipping containers received, motors rebuilt, surgeries completed and individuals lives changed.
This type of success is not individually based - it is a total team effort. The surgeons, doctors, nurses, and lab techs get their meals in the Dining room - from food that the Supply team orders. The Engineering team keeps the Operating rooms cool, provides drinking water, hot showers and makes certain the toilets work when you press the button.
For Mick and I, being part of this team is the most successful work we have ever undertaken. And we're wondering, if you'd like to help us stay on the team?
https://www.mercyships.org.au/donate - please put Dunne family in the "My donation is for" box