I have been to many fundraisers in the past and I leave all of them feeling impacted in one way or another but the VCDS fundraiser did something to my entire heart.
We have all seen the TV commercials highlighting children in impoverished parts of the world. I would like to think that most of us are struck with that feeling to do something but we live in a distracting world, where we want all the facts about something in 30 seconds which is why I think attending a fundraiser like the one VCDS put on is so important.
From the moment I walked in the door I could tell the people who were putting the event on were more family than colleagues. The delicious smell from the kitchen hit me, traditional Ethiopian food was being prepared. Handmade items from Ethiopia covered half of the room. I felt like we weren’t being asked for money but more we were being invited on a journey with these people.
I walked over to a board where there were rows upon rows of pictures of children, most with big beaming smiles. I wondered if these were the kids who had already been adopted…they weren’t. All these beautiful gorgeous little souls were in need of someone to help them. I couldn’t grab apen fast enough. I chose the picture of a little boy about the same age as my daughter wishing I could pay for them all.
As the night went on we heard from Bea who had literally climbed up a mountain years prior with her friend to this little village to see how God could use her and as it seems she has been climbing up that mountain since. I heard about the impact that was being made in the community. Children were being given options to go to school and be raised by a family member or guardian, rather than having to be split from their families.
I learned that the little boy we had sponsored – his mother’s suffered from a mental illness, and she needed help to raise her children and thanks to VCDS this deserving mother was empowered rather than shunned. While I don’t know her whole story I know my mother has battled depression my entire life and I had to think that God had picked this little boy just for me. Our lives while thousands of miles apart, had a blaring similarity.
I was touched, educated, immersed and God opened up my heart so really seeing how the impact of such a small amount of money could make such a huge impact to someone else.
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen