Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am never at a loss for words. But something happened the other day that rendered me speechless. Tears filled my eyes and I nearly dropped to my knees one evening when I answered the door and saw an angel stan
ding before me, her hands outstretched with a box.
Let me take you back in time, just a day before, to the public library. One of my favorite roles with the Global Outreach Foundation is sharing the stories of the resilient and beautiful people I am working with from these third world countries. I was asked to give a presentation on what life is like to grow up in Kenya and Uganda to a group of bright eyed, eager to learn children at my public library in Bemidji, MN. My goal for this presentation was to inspire the children who attended to know that even though they are small, they can do great things for their community and for communities abroad. The children gathered around, and I shared stories about the lives of the children I am working with in Africa. I try to paint a realistic yet inspiring picture of life in a third world country. I showed pictures of children smiling, despite incredible and unspeakable poverty, illness, and hunger. I told the story of the little boy I met in Kenya, who cannot attend school because he has to stay home and take care
of his younger siblings. I talked about how he and the siblings carry the youngest baby everywhere, and how their mom, who is a widow, has to go to work for 12 hours a day or they will starve. The American children sat silently when I told them that the oldest boy is 8.
The next evening I was sitting at the computer with my closest friend, and I was showing her the pictures of the children I have decided to help in Uganda. You see, I run an orphan sponsorship program in Kenya, which I started after visiting the orphans last fall. After seeing the drastic difference between the services available in America for orphaned and impoverished children, and the incredible lack of assistance in Africa for the same children, I was compelled to do something. The Do Something project was born, and since November of last year I have worked daily to help the orphans and widows I met while in Kenya. I recently received information on another orphan project in Uganda, and after getting to know the local coordinator and seeing the pictures of the children, I knew I could not turn away.
This particular night I was feeling overwhelmed because I knew that the orphan children would be running out of food in a matter of weeks, and I felt completely determined not to let this happen. I sat with my friend at the computer, looking at the pictures, shedding tears for the incredible poverty and the overwhelming needs. I turned to my friend and said, “I feel so overwhelmed, how am I going to raise the money to feed these children, if even just enough for another week?”. My friend comforted me, and told me that God will make a way. A moment later, the door bell rang.
I opened the door to see an angel standing before me, her hands outstretched with a box. She smiled at me and told me that she was at my presentation the day before and she did something about it. She and her friend, along with the help of her mom, set up a car wash the very next day. They raised $53, enough to pay for 530 meals for the orphans. Yes, you are reading correctly. The program in Uganda has found a way to feed a meal a day to 180 orphans for just about $100 a week. These little girls made enough to feed 180 orphans for half of a week. Amazing.
As I stood there, I was so overwhelmed by gratitude and relief. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of my “Angel”, and as I shed more tears, I hugged her and thanked her for her selfless decision to do something.
My challenge to you? Do something. Do anything. Start in your own backyard, with a neighbor or a friend. Ready to expand your horizons? Find something you are passionate about and invest your time, talents, or money into something outside of yourself. If we all took time to invest in the well being of others, there would not be as much pain and need in our world. Even the smallest of efforts are better than no effort at all. What will you do to make our world a better place? How will this little girl inspire you?