Insurance company helps medical mission

WAYNESFIELD — Block Insurance Agency and Hastings Mutual Insurance Company have made a donation to Children’s Medical Missions West to help pay to bring children from around the world to the U.S. for medical treatment.

Children’s Medical Missions West helps about 30 children each year with surgery and treatment of severe medical conditions. The children are from nations like Burkina Faso and Haiti and often stay in the U.S. for a year or more while undergoing care. Doctors and hospitals donate their services. The children travel with medical visas and stay with local host families while in the country.

Block Insurance Agency’s donation was matched by the Hastings Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Foundation, whose purpose is to award matching grants to assist in providing essential needs of living, including food, clothing and medical services to at-risk youth and financially challenged or catastrophe-stricken families.

While the treatment and stay is free, there are expenses for each child: the cost of passports, visas, air travel and testing. It typically costs between $1,500 and $2,000 to bring a child to the U.S. Block Insurance Agency has supported Children’s Medical Missions West for several years by contributing to the organization’s annual golf outing fundraiser.

“We have admired the work of Children’s Medical Missions West for many years,” said Don Ritchey, president of Block Insurance Agency. “It has made a real difference for people in our area and around the world.”