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I am a student. What will my role in clinic be?

We welcome student participation on any of our trips. Students continue to find great value and experience in going oversees for mission work. Here you would work alongside the medical staff and perform many functions of clinic to include patient in-take, triage, pharmacy and instruction on disease specific topics as well as community education classes. You may also want to check with your school to see if there can be any type of community service credit hours that you can obtain through your school; many of our students get this and we can certainly verify the hours that you worked. Let us know how we can help.

What does a typical day look like?

On a typical day the team will eat breakfast at the hotel or guest house where they are staying an receive a briefing from their team leader on the community they will be serving. The team will then travel to the clinic location by bus or boat and set up a mobile clinic in that location. Sometimes this will be in a school, community center, church, or simply in an open area using tarps! The team usually sees a few hundred patients each day, treating patients with both medications and community health education. Lunch is eaten at the clinic location and the team comes back to the hotel or guest house in time for dinner. After dinner and a debriefing meeting with the team, the bags are repacked for the next day and the statistics are compiled. The days are long but rewarding.

Is IMR a faith based organization?

IMR is not a faith based organization. We have volunteers, team leaders, in-country ground crew members, and patients from all faith backgrounds. Our focus is on improving the overall health of the communities that we serve.

What if I am unable to attend the trip? What happens to the funds I have raised so far?

Our mission is to reach the populations most in need of medical relief and each of our missions is planned carefully based upon the volunteers involved and the amount of funds raised. Your funds, while non refundable, will still go toward the cause of the medical mission and provide critical care where it’s most needed.

Does IMR offer scholarships?

IMR does not currently have a scholarship program. The donation amount for each trip covers the expenses of each volunteer, supplies for our clinics, and medications for our patients. We do have fundraising opportunities and each volunteer is encouraged to set up a fundraising page on the IMR website to receive donations from their friends, family, and communities. If you need assistance in setting up your fundraising page, please let us know.

How does IMR utilize the contributions?

IMR utilizes the vast majority of contributions to fund medical, dental and surgical care to under-served and vulnerable people around the world. Costs for team travel, lodging, meals, ground transportation, translators and in-country support staff are significant for each medical trip. In addition, IMR provides as much additional medicine, supplies, equipment and training as possible at each location visited. A small portion of contributions is used to provide IMR’s infrastructure.

What if I raise more money over the minimum donation amount for the trip?

All money raised for a particular trip must go for that trip. If you raise additional money above the minimum donation amount that is wonderful! We will use those funds to purchase additional medications and supplies for the team!

If I can’t participate in the trip, what happens to the donations that I have raised?

All donations submitted to International Medical Relief (IMR) are non-transferable and non-refundable. If you are unable to participate in the trip, your donations cannot be refunded nor can they be transferred to another participant. Your donations will go to support IMR’s mission of providing medical, dental and surgical care to under-served and vulnerable people around the world, and we hope your donors will appreciate supporting IMR regardless of your participation in the actual trip.

What if I do not have all my fundraising donations before the deadlines?

You have two options:
Payment Plan Option: Contact the IMR office at admin@imrus.org to let us know you are setting up a payment plan. If you have 50% of the minimum donation paid before the deadline we can still add you to the passenger manifest for the team flight. You would then be responsible for making the rest of the minimum donation two weeks before the trip departs in the following increments: 75% of the donation at 60 days before departure and 100% 30 days before departure.

Ground Only Option: You can make the minimum “ground only” donation and arrange your own flights to meet the team in country. We require the minimum “ground only” donation payment and a copy of your international flight itinerary no less than 30 days before departure. There is a $100 service charge for this option. You will need to select this option on the acceptance form. We have a travel agent who can assist you with this at your request.

Can I still join the team after the payment deadline?

YES! You can join the team after the payment deadline. You would need to make the “ground only” donation amount and would be responsible for arranging your international flights. We have a travel agent who can assist you and make sure your arrival and departure times coordinate with the team flights. She can also assist you with ideas and tours if you are planning to extend your stay.

When is the payment deadline?

The payment deadline for each trip is typically 12 weeks before departure. At that time all volunteers who have made the minimum donation are added to the passenger manifest for the team flight.

How does “extending your stay” work?

Extending your stay is a great opportunity to see more of the country and relax a little after your IMR trip. Many volunteers choose this option. You will make the “ground only” donation for the trip and then book your flight directly from your home town to meet up with the team. You will need to make sure that you arrive in the country at the same time (or before) the team. All expenses outside the standard team logistics are at your expense. We have a travel agent who can help you coordinate your flights to match up with the team arrivals and departures. She can also assist you with tours and other travel packages.

What does the “ground only” donation amount cover?

The “ground only” option covers everything listed above EXCEPT your international airfare. Many volunteers choose this option so they can extend their stay and take a few extra days to do some sightseeing after the trip.

What does the minimum donation amount cover?

The minimum donation amount covers the cost of your international airfare from a set location in the U.S., lodging, meals, in country transportation, interpreters, clinic supplies, and medications for our patients.

Does the $100 deposit guarantee my spot on the team?

The $100 deposit allows us to process your application and accept you to the team. It is applied toward the total donation for the trip you attend. If you end up not going on the trip, it can be transferred to another trip within six months.

In order to guarantee your place on the team we must receive the minimum donation amount for your trip before the payment deadline that is typically 12 weeks before the trip departs.

Departure Packet

You will be getting a Departure Packet as we near your departure. The packet has helpful tips on travel as well as instructions for checking in with your domestic carrier. Make sure to print the indicated pages in the packet and bring it with you to the airport as it will have important phone numbers for you to use in route should you have any changes to your schedule. The packet will also contain official letters from IMR to identify why you are carrying medications and supplies and letters that request a waiver of fees. While this is not guaranteed, the letters have been helpful. You can also call your local departure airport and ask for the stationmaster for your domestic airline – sometimes they will put a fee waiver in your record. Finally, arriving early, staying calm, asking nicely, and explaining clearly the purpose of your request may result in a free bag.

FLIGHT DELAYS

If your flight is delayed, please contact IMR if you have the ability to do so. Contact information will be in the Departure Packet.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel Insurance is highly recommended for all of our volunteers. Check into what the options are available for unforeseen travel delays, trip cancellations, unexpected overnight lodging, lost luggage, last minute health issues, missing a flight, and more.

FUNDS IN TRANSIT

IMR will begin hosting the team once you are in country and have met up with the group. Should you arrive early or have layovers in transit you will want to be prepared to have funds available. If you have an extended layover there may be an option to depart the airport for a meal or a city tour. There are restaurants in the airports, some have shower facilities, or other opportunities for shopping. US Currency and credit cards like Visa or Mastercard and widely accepted and you may want some cash on hand as well.

I am NOT flying with the team. Can my IMR team leader make arrangements for my transportation and lodging during my extended stay?

No. IMR hosts and ground crew are for the exclusive hosting of the IMR team in the field and will not be available to assist you with your personal needs.

I am NOT flying with the team. Where should I meet the team?

You will need to meet the team at the airport upon their arrival. All arrangements prior to meeting the team at the airport are at your own expense.

I am NOT flying with the team. What airport should I fly into?

Our trips include transportation between the main airport in-country and the final destination. This can include additional flights, buses, and boats. Please be sure that your arrive in country before the team and do not depart until after the team flight has departed.

I am NOT flying with the team. When should I purchase my ticket?

All of our trips are subject to minor date changes based on airline availability and ground conditions. For volunteers flying on their own, we recommend that they book their tickets at the same time as the team tickets are booked to be sure of the confirmed dates. Please be sure that your travel arrangements fall within the scheduled team flight. You will need to meet the team at the airport upon arrival and your departure should not be before the team is scheduled to depart.

Are the charges for my checked bags on my domestic or independent flight covered by IMR?
  • Your participation on the team flight is at a reduced rate and may require you to check an IMR bag of necessary supplies and medications.  If you check additional personal bags, those will be at your own expense.
  • Pack as much as possible in your carry-on(s).  Airline carry-on regulations vary.  Adhere to any weight and size restrictions.
  • Any baggage charges on your domestic flight are at your own expense. IMR can provide you with a tax receipt for those charges.
I am flying with the team and have collected additional supplies. Will I have to pay additional baggage fees?

Your participation on the team flight is at a reduced rate and may require you to check and IMR bag or two of necessary supplies and medications. If you check additional personal bags of supplies those will be at your own expense. If there are enough team members on the subsidized team flight to cover all the team bags, then you will be able to bring checked bags of donated supplies as your allotted checked bags at no charge. The priority always goes to the team bags. IMR does not pay for airline baggage fees for your personal gear or in-kind donations. For all luggage fees that you incur for your personal gear or in-kind donations, IMR will be able to provide a tax donation receipt for your expense, so please keep you receipt from the airline if necessary.

I AM flying with the team. When should I purchase my domestic ticket?

We recommend that our volunteers not purchase their domestic ticket to the point of departure until after the team tickets are confirmed. IMR requests that you are at the airport 5 to 7 hours ahead of your departure to allow for schedule changes/cancellations and flight delays. If you miss this flight for any reason it will be your responsibility and financial obligation to meet up with the team. This can be very difficult! IMR does not guarantee a date when you will connect with the team if you miss any of your connecting flights.

If your itinerary requires you to overnight in the departure city please let us know if you would like to stay at a hotel where other IMR volunteers may be. We can assist in getting you all to connect so that room sharing is an option for cost savings. Our team Facebook page is a great place to start to share your departure plans. You are responsible for your share of the room and will pay for the room yourselves.

Can I fly on the team flight and then change my return date?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to fly outside of the exact itinerary with the group ticket. IMR subsidizes the group ticket and is required by the airlines we work with to fly on a single itinerary without exception. If you want to make your own flight arrangements to meet the team in country you will make the “ground only” donation. You also don’t have to purchase airfare to the point of departure as you would if you were flying with the team.

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