I’m sure it sounds trite in some way, but Haiti changed my life. I already had an interest in giving back from traveling for work, but it was really this time last year when everything I thought about everything was turned on it’s head. After traveling to some of the world’s most beautiful locations and staying in many fancy pants hotels and resorts, I decided I wanted to spend my personal vacation seeing what was going on down there. I can’t explain why other than I just had a pull. I chose Mission of Hope Haiti as my guide through my volunteer experience and I can say for certain, that my personal funds will be donated to this organization for as long as they’ll take them.
I spent 7 days working with this organization in a town called Simonette where we did things like painting homes, planting trees and overall just connecting with the locals. I spent my afternoons playing with the children, sharing how God works in my life and hearing how He works in their’s. And it wasn’t the mango tree I planted with a proud little boy all of 4 years of age, or the local experts that spent their days praying over our work that changed me. It was the joy. Every day I met families that were literally starving to death or so sick they couldn’t leave their home but somehow they still had a smile on their face. I was often asked the question “did you eat today?” as a substitute for what I would normally consider small talk. It was as normal as “how are you today?” and it broke my heart every single time. Yet they were still so happy. Through all of their adversity…it was a pureness I’d been searching for right there in the hearts of families dealing with struggles I couldn’t have fathomed had I not witnessed it for myself.
But, I digress, my point is, Mission of Hope. Those guys are doing amazing amazing things to rebuild Haiti. With an orphanage and school, a medical clinic and a food bank that feeds 100,000 Haitians every day, it is truly this organization that made me want to start The Good Beginning…It was in a town called Leveque when I realized I needed the beautiful couples I work with to know about everything that could be done with just a bit of awareness and funds. You see, in this city, over five years after the earthquake, thousands of people are still living in tents that were meant to last only a few months. To build a home large enough for a family of 12 or so people, it costs a mere $6000. Not only do I see people spend this on things like flowers and linens, but I see so many couples who need for nothing and literally cannot think of a single thing to register for. Man, how I would love to see a few couples draw awareness to projects like the rebuilding of Leveque through their registry. Talk about starting your marriage off with a Good Beginning…talk about changing lives. That’s exactly what you can do, with a little love, a little awareness and a gift registry…change lives.
If you want to read my full recap, head on over to the Beth Helmstetter Events blog where I share all the details. And if you’re interested in adding Mission of Hope to your registry or if you just want more information, check them out here.