Inside EASTERN – Collection to Support Welders in Haiti

MatthewDonnelly-MatthewMcPhillipEastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Welding Technology/Hatboro-Horsham High School seniors, Matthew McPhillips and Matthew Donnelly, are holding a collection at EASTERN from October 1 – 31, 2014 for used, or even broken, welding eye protection, as well as baseball hats and sunglasses for welders in Haiti. Outside donations can be dropped off at EASTERN’s entrance throughout the month of October.

This past summer, McPhillips and Donnelly accompanied McPhillips’ father to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH), Pennsylvania chapter. VOSH is an organization that provides eye exams, eyeglasses, and eye surgery to those in need in developing nations at no cost during short-term mission trips.

While in Haiti, McPhillips and Donnelly met some local welders. They found that most are so financially disadvantaged that they do not have any type of eye protection. A common issue with welders in Haiti is flash burn caused by the welding flame that can damage vision permanently, and send many good welders in Haiti back into poverty. There are no welding unions in Haiti.

McPhillips and Donnelly understand first-hand the need for protective eyewear in their field of choice, and felt the need to help. While in Haiti they sought out a hospital that has agreed to oversee the distribution of the eye protection to the welders – Hôpital Sacré Coeur, the largest private hospital in the North of Haiti.

Welding Technology at EASTERN is designed for the student who is interested in the industrial engineering field.

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