We are changed for the better as we change the world for the better.
I have had the privilege of going on several service trips and in every case I have benefited more than the people we helped.
During high school, I went with a church group to repair the roof of an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. The orphanage was in desperate need of repairs inside and out. We attended a church service nearby; the church was outside, and the seats were cinder blocks with a piece of plywood laid across them. The locals had nothing in the way of worldly goods, and the orphans didn’t even have families, yet they were smiling and laughing. From them, I learned that you don’t have to have a lot to be happy.
After high school, I took a trip to Ecuador with a group of doctors who volunteered their time to give free medical care to people who could not afford to pay for it. We set up a clinic outside a local church and while the doctors treated the adults my friend and I played with the children to keep them occupied. While we performed puppet shows and sang songs with the children, their parents learned about proper hygiene and received antibiotics and other life-saving medications. From this trip, I learned that you don’t have to be anyone important to make a difference.
During college, I stayed with a family in Albania who lived far below the poverty line. They had broken windows in their home where the wind whipped through because they did not have the money to fix them. They could barely afford food, yet when my friends and I stayed with them, they insisted on feeding us from their kitchen while they went hungry. From them, I learned that you don’t have to have a lot to give a lot.
Many charities would appreciate a donation of your money or time. If you don’t have money or time to spare, you can still help. You can make your little corner of the world a brighter place by offering a hand to someone or sharing an encouraging word. Whatever you have or don’t, there is something you can do to help someone today.
If you are interested in donating, here are some organizations doing excellent work:
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - https://www.chop.edu/giving/get-involved
A national leader in the advancement of pediatric healthcare, CHOP is a haven for sick children and their families, providing comfort along with top-notch medical attention.
Show Hope - https://showhope.org/
Show Hope provides adoption aid funds as well as transition resources to help place orphans into loving families. They also provide medical care for orphans with serious health issues.
LitWorld - http://www.litworld.org/story/
LitWorld promotes literacy around the world by educating children about reading, writing and speaking. They encourage children to find their voices and use them to create positive change in their communities and beyond.
Womanspace - https://womanspace.org/
Womanspace is an extraordinary organization that provides critical assistance to individuals and families affected by domestic and sexual violence. Their mission is to “prevent abuse, protect families and change lives through empowerment and a safety net of supportive services.”
First Book - https://firstbook.org/
First Book endeavors to get books and other educational supplies into the hands of children from low-income families. People who work with children in need can register to shop on their marketplace for deeply discounted items.