Shortly after noon on Friday, Nov. 30, a C5 transport plane from Westover, Mass., flew in to the Youngstown Air Force Reserve Base in Vienna, to load supplies bound for Guatemala City. The mission will bring much-needed medical and educational supplies to suffering children in that area.
"I am thankful to all who are making this Mission of Love a reality, and know that there are so many good people who are making this possible, unconditionally," said Mission of Love founder Kathy Price.
Friday's airlift is the third one this year for Mission of Love under the Denton program. The program permits the use of military cargo planes to carry humanitarian aid around the globe. The missions are two-fold as Air Force crews not only get to bring help to the suffering and poor, but also get live training in a real mission.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Youngstown 910th Airlift Wing senior airmen Rebekah Sines and Brad Franken, along with civil contractor Dan Jones secure one of 21 pallets of educational, medical and humanitarian supplies that were loaded on a C5 transport plane on Friday to begin the trip to Guatemala City on Saturday morning.
Last week's cargo carried 60,000 pounds on 21 pallets. Among the goods were medical supplies, education supplies and building materials. The Massachusetts C5 crew had their huge aircraft loaded Friday afternoon, then left early Saturday morning for a direct route to Guatemala.
Price said traveling with this week's mission will be five surgeons from across the nation. They will be performing 45 cleft palate surgeries on young children. Without the surgeries, the kids would not have a good chance of making it to adulthood.
"Can you even imagine the miracles that will take place this week?" Price said.
Joining Price at the air base were several Mission of Love volunteers who helped out with last-minute details. Among them was Tom Borror from Medina.
"I have been to Guatemala three times," he said. "I'll be heading back in February to help finish up the Way-Bi Children's Hospice."
Mission of Love has been working on Way-Bi for close to a year. The plan is to give dying children a place to spend their finals days in comfort. Price said many of the children simply fade away on dirt floors inside a rundown shack. Way-Bi will offer medical and end-of-life care in a clean and comfortable environment. The facility is being built on a mountain top next to a Mayan pyramid.
Price said 16 volunteers that include the medical personnel will make the trip this week and help accomplish the goals with the surgeries. They will fly in on a commercial jet and will be there to see the C5 cargo unloaded and safely delivered to Guatemala City for the children.