Last June, we visited La Beyi, Haiti for the first time! There’s so much engrained in my mind about the experience, and their final parting words still haven’t left me: “Tell your family we love them. Don’t forget we can’t stop thinking about you in this community. We won’t forget you and we will miss you. You are in our hearts. We won’t forget you. I ask you that you won’t forget us. This community needs lots of prayers.” In the same way, I remember the immense respect and belief I had in their ability to lead their community’s own defined development initiatives. Because of this belief, I remember deciding I’d like to walk this journey alongside them, and my final parting words were, “I’ll be back to see you”.Read More
As many know, I’m co-leading a mission trip back to Haiti this June (Yay!). As part of our leader training we had the opportunity to experience a poverty simulation lead by HOPE International. I was eager to partake in the experience for the first time, not knowing at all what it would entail. I was pleasantly surprised (and surprise is the name of the game)! We were taken through an immersive experience forcing us to make decisions and actively partake in roles to stay alive. It really hit home for me. After all, imagining what it would feel like to live in extreme poverty while carrying the immense heartbreak and burden it brings, is what ultimately drove me to walking with people living in poverty in the first place. I’ve often thought, “I don’t know what I would do if I were forced to survive on the streets”. This simulation helped uncover some of that in a deeper way - so much so, that I eagerly want to share it with you!
In speaking with Ashley Dickens, the HOPE experience facilitator afterwards, I learned she’s already written a story about the experience and I decided there’s no better words than hers to share it with you!Read More
Food. It has long been a source of gathering and community, a silent facilitator of relationships and celebration. In fact, we as a nation, just celebrated one of our most beautiful reflections of these very things, Thanksgiving! Aside from all that yummy Turkey, the tradition is an expression of gratitude and a time to gather in unity. It offers us a moment to prepare our hearts in “giving-thanks” for all we have, while extending our gifts to those less fortunate too. In reminiscing on the holiday, I’m reminded of an organization whose mission fits so well with the idea of Thanksgiving. Urban Recipe is a natural extension of what we’ve been learning - how to “help without hurting”.Read More
Ever wonder how exactly your donation is being used when you give to a cause that stirs your heart? Curious to know whether the approach you’re supporting truly makes a long-term, sustainable impact? Me too. I often struggle with the complexity of how to give in a healthy way, while truly knowing my support is doing the good I hope for. It’s this ever-present question that has led me to dig deeper with the intention of trying to understand how to truly help the poor. You see, by learning about different approaches of poverty alleviation, we can begin to build conclusions about our own personal giving strategies. Read on, as I share how an organization is giving in a healthy way and ways we can get involved in driving large impact!Read More
Today’s story focuses on Charity: water! One of my greatest passions is poverty alleviation through access to clean water and thus, I’ve followed Charity: water for some time. Some of you may remember my birthday campaign for clean water last September. Some of you even donated to that campaign! Thank you - more to come on the status of our project in a moment.
Speaking of birthdays, it’s Charity: water’s 12th birthday today!Read More
Elite Women of Excellence exists to provide programming for girls from all socio-economic backgrounds with life-changing perspectives and practices to build confidence, wisdom and courage.
The key piece I find most interesting is life-changing perspectives for those from all socio-economic backgrounds. I was all ears when she started sharing how her programs are integrating girls from inner-city Atlanta with girls from all communities throughout metro Atlanta.Read More
Poverty is an opportunity to uncover great beauty in other people.
For years it's been this beauty and opportunity that has drawn me to be an advocate for the poor! While that desire has been tugging at my heart for a long time, I wasn't always quite sure the best way to help, where to begin, or worse, aware that things I do can potentially hurt the poor in the process of trying to help. In my last story, I recounted one of my most shameful efforts that did indeed, actually hurt the poor. Today, I want to share with you one of my recent experiences that I believe lends itself more to helping!Read More