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July 8, 2016
Press Release

SAN DIEGO – July 8, 2016 – International Relief Teams is deploying two volunteer teams this coming weekend. The first team will travel south of the border on Saturday, July 9 to provide eyeglasses to residents of Tecate, Mexico, one of the poorest communities in the area. The team of eight will screen about 125 people throughout the day and provide distance and reading glasses as needed. The second team of six volunteers will fly to the New Jersey shore on Sunday, July 10 for one week to rebuild homes in communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy.


Due to poverty and a lack of access to eye care, many of our neighbors in Tecate suffer unnecessarily from bad vision, making it impossible for them to read, to learn, and to provide for their families. 

Rose Uranga will lead the team on Saturday; she has previously led volunteer teams to more than 10 countries over the past 25 years. The crew includes Kelly Hardiman, Bonita; Cathy Farrell, Santa Maria; John Zawis, La Mesa; Mary Robinson, El Cajon; Patty Villegas, San Diego; Kyle Phanroy, San Diego; Jill Van Antwerp; San Diego.

IRT is committed to helping vulnerable and marginalized families in our neighboring region of Baja California have a chance at a successful future by providing eye glasses and other life changing support.


The six volunteers include skilled craftspeople from San Diego who will work closely with partner organization, A Future With Hope.

“IRT is working to repair homes severely damaged by the 2012 storm. Many houses – mostly belonging to the working poor and the elderly- are still unlivable and residents remain displaced,” says IRT Executive Director Barry La Forgia. “IRT is honored to continue our partnership with A Future With Hope to help families in need finally return home after over three years.”

This trip will be led by Chris Read, a long-time IRT volunteer and board member. The team includes John Zawis, La Mesa; Paul Trimble, Poway; Trudi Koren, Jamul; Bill Swihart, Escondido; Steve Walsh, Vista.

International Relief Teams works to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty and disaster around the globe, from the forgotten corners of the world to right here at home, by sending volunteer teams and medical supplies to make immediate change for the world’s most vulnerable people. For more information visit: http://www.irteams.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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