Content written by Gina Miccio of Lisa Vorce Co.
I have two careers that I rarely talk about at the same time. The first is running business operations for the renowned destination event company, Lisa Vorce CO, and the second is writing curriculum that aligns with the missions of global nonprofits. (Think elementary and high school students doing research projects that actually help solve world problems!) These two careers are very different, and yet I can’t seem to give up either. The world of Lisa Vorce CO is quite exciting, and Lisa happens to be my one-and-only sister, so I can’t imagine not working with her. My work with global nonprofits equally pulls my heartstrings of course, and there are so many people and places in need of help — I’m forever destined to minimal sleep and a 7-day workweek!
My work with nonprofits began more than 20 years ago when I was teaching in North Africa. I would sometimes visit an over-crowded orphanage with my elementary students. There, infants and toddlers in rickety wooden cribs would await us with outstretched arms, crying to be held. We would hug on them, and sing nursery songs to them in French, Arabic and English. When it was time for us to go, they would cling to us, inconsolable that their sparse human interaction was coming to and end. It was heartbreaking.
The children in the orphanage, along with other experiences abroad, made a lasting impression, and led to my work with The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. Started in 2007, by acclaimed novelist Khaled Hosseini, the Foundation has been actively providing aid to women and children in Afghanistan through numerous projects focused on providing shelter to refugee families, economic and education opportunities, and healthcare for women and children. To date, through their partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Foundation has provided funding for 537 shelters resulting in homes for over 3,200 people. American high school students who participate in the Foundation’s Student Outreach for Shelters (SOS) program, learn about the plight of Afghan refugees through the exploration of literature (e.g. The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) as well as through nonfiction, and then apply their newfound knowledge to help raise funding and awareness for refugees in need. These students are blazing a trail that the rest of us can follow.
So while destination wedding planning and global nonprofits seem worlds apart, thankfully, the Good Beginning is working to bridge that gap. Imagine, in lieu of a few porcelain place settings, one could give the gift of shelter for a whole family, or provide the medical care needed for an infant’s first year of life! Now that’s a really Good Beginning!