When I decided to start offering my favorite missionary related products to families, I really didn’t know where I was going with it. All I knew was that I wanted to share the information and products that have helped our family through the different stages of missionary service. So I began with the idea of setting up “Missionary Exchanges” as an online store and blog.
In the days after I came up with the idea, I learned there are lots of things I needed to do to set up a business and I began thinking through the logistics of everything. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty overwhelming and I considered giving up. But in the middle of all that craziness, I got a stroke of inspiration. I knew that the only way I could really feel great about putting energy into Missionary Exchanges is if the profit I made would go directly toward missionary work. With that as my strongest motivation, I started bursting with tons of great ideas!
So, the first thing we are doing with the profits from Missionary Exchanges is a project we are calling “Glasses for Peru.” Let me tell you about it.
My son Jake (returned from a mission to Peru this summer) was telling us about how excited people were when the missionaries would give them FREE scriptures 🙂 But many times when the missionaries would return to teach them, they would not have read their new scriptures….not because they could not read, but because they could not see the words on the pages. Jake explains that the number of people who need glasses in Peru is staggering. As a family, we talked about how much we would like to help them out, but we just didn’t know where to begin (you can see, this is a recurring theme with us…great ideas with no idea how to make them happen, haha!). But then, a few weeks later, Jake was talking to a man in the temple about how we wanted to figure out a way to offer free eye exams, glasses, and scriptures to needy people in Peru, and the man told him that he’s done that before! He told Jake the kind of machine we’d need to figure out the strength of the glasses people needed, and he told Jake where to get the glasses in bulk for a good price. UPDATE! If you would like to donate used glasses, please Contact Me (click on the link)! (And PLEASE make sure you ask someone in charge before you start raiding the Lost and Found!)
Jake is working with the stake presidents he met in his mission to figure out places to do the free eye exams. And because missionaries have a requirement for service hours, we will work with the mission president to involve the missionaries in helping with the distribution of glasses and scriptures to those who need them. Win-Win for everyone!
(**UPDATE! To read about our amazing experience in Peru, CLICK HERE!)
Thanks for your help!