Tomorrow, please join us in the global celebration of generosity for Giving Tuesday! This is a day that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a day focused on helping others.
Everyone has something to give, and today we are sharing stories of how the children and young adults we serve, serve others!
Our CarePoints and Ministry Centers are located in some of the most impoverished communities, where being in a position to “give” is often superseded by the realities of simple survival. We are filled to the brim with encouragement when those who are living in impoverished communities extend their time and resources to invest in igniting hope for others.
Although the stories of service by the individuals we partner with are unlimited, these are our favorite five!
1 ) Russia
Some of the most successful programs at HopeChest Ministry Centers are the Mentorship Program and the Leadership Programs. The Mentorship Program provides the opportunity for orphanage graduates, who are now young adults, to volunteer by visiting their former orphanages and investing in the lives of younger vulnerable youth. As role models, the young adults are deeply invested in sharing their own stories, challenges, and professional and personal goals, and successes with the younger children. Mentorship is also peer-to-peer with an older orphanage graduate to another grad. Participants of the Leadership Program also do various acts of service in their community such as collecting recycling, visiting elderly citizens, cleaning rooms at homeless/crisis centers, shoveling snow for local shelters, and partnering with national organizations like Liza Alert (an organization that searches for missing people).
These programs bring dignity to the participants and encouragement for the individuals they serve. However, it isn’t only young adults who have hearts to give back, but the children who live at our partnered orphanages desire to serve as well! In October, a group of children from Kovalyovo Orphanage had the innovative idea of renovating a public bus stop in the village. This bus stop is frequently used and the children wanted to make it a more pleasant place where people could sit and feel more comfortable to enjoy conversations. They even worked hard to find support for their idea from a local business and were successful in getting the community involved!
It’s all about community. This is an important axiom that Guatemala CarePoint staff desire to model to the children they serve. Most months, CarePoint staff will do something to reach out to the community and involve children who want to participate.
On June 3rd, an active volcano near Antigua, Volcan de Fuego, erupted – tragically ending the lives of many people and destroying many others’ property. Colegio Prosperidad CarePoint was quick to react by organizing the collection of dry goods and clothes to support the people who were affected by the eruption.
There were many displaced people in Addis Ababa from the nearby towns because of internal conflict. The displaced citizens fled their homes suddenly so they were in need of basic needs while they stay at a temporary shelter. In collaboration with Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations (UEWCA), I Care for the Nation CarePoint (ICFTN) collected clothes and shoes and delivered them as a donation. The communities that we serve also have hearts to serve others, and we are encouraged by the ICFTN community’s heart to support displaced families.
At Ekudzeni CarePoint in Eswatini, 10 young adults went with the CarePoint shepherd to visit Gogo Zwane, who is the grandmother of a new child at the CarePoint. Together, they helped renovate her stick and mud house and prayed with her. These young adults exemplify the heart of Christ in their willingness to serve and in the compassion in their hearts to care for individuals in their community.
Children who are as young as preschoolers also find ways to help and serve. While a group of Shepherds were busy doing administrative paperwork at Timbutini 2 CarePoint, they discovered that the preschoolers had organized themselves in groups to pick up litter around the CarePoint. They did this without being asked and the Shepherds were incredibly encouraged by the young children’s desire to help.
At Nabukalu CarePoint the CarePoint identified two community members who needed support and encouragement. Lukiya, a 63-year-old woman was in poor health and was unable to afford medical treatment or food. Understanding her situation, the CarePoint provided corn flour, rice, and beans for her. Children from the CarePoint rallied together and helped to clean her house, cleared weeds from her maize garden, fetched water and cooked food, and washed her utensils and clothes. The children also made her a bathing shelter on her compound so she could shower whenever she needed. Lukiya exclaimed, “I had been helplessly dumped here by my own relatives!! See how God has blessed me with your love, care, and support. I don’t know how best to say thank you to you, my children!”
The other person the CarePoint reached out to was Kawulu, a 68-year-old man who was sleeping under a ramshackle hut. His children deserted him when they grew up and he struggled to find food to eat and adequate shelter. Young adults from the CarePoint built a safe and warm structure for Kawulu, who is now happily sleeping in an enclosed space.
By serving those in their community, the children take ownership of the success of their community and experience the joy of serving. As you spread hope to the children who attend our CarePoints, they in turn give hope to those in their communities.
Thank you for helping us create a cycle of hope and dignity that is replacing the cycle of poverty.
Please consider joining us in the global celebration of generosity for Giving Tuesday with a meaningful donation that continues the cycle of hope.