That’s what it’s all about!12 Jan 2011, by modern day slavery in
It is hard to believe that in just a week and a half I’ll be back in India. The images of big smiles and bright eyes that have filled my world since I left will again be real and joined with sounds of laughter and songs like the “Hokey Pokey” which was a huge hit the last time I was there.
Six months ago when I prepared for my last trip over I didn’t know what to expect. I was consumed with making sure I was prepared for any and everything. Packing and repacking, I crammed as much as I could into suitcases feeling unsure if what I was bringing was “right”. This time around, although what we all brought last time was perfect, I am calmer knowing that bringing ourselves really is the best gift. When projects were over, or about to begin, I remember filling awkward moments in with silly face or hand tricks and those moments are some of my fondest memories. Sharing time and love through songs, art and games IS what it’s all about!
I am fortunate to teach at a wonderful middle school where the support of students and staff is genuine and very much what drives me. The students I work with here in the U.S. are the same age as a majority of the children at some of our partner shelters in India. Although their backgrounds and life experiences are vastly different, they have so much in common. Kids are kids. The little girl whose schooling I sponsor is 10 years old and she has the same dreams as my 9 year old daughter. They both love to read and dance and share the same favorite color, green. What separates these children besides distance and their past is opportunities and resources. I see first hand how giving what seems like just a little bit of hope to the children through Made By Survivors turns into an empowered future.
In preparation for this trip I have tried to focus on raising awareness about modern day slavery here at home. I haven’t been able to raise as much money as I would like but I know that acting as a bridge between the amazing kids I teach here and the children in India (both who are my heart) is just as important. My daughters are making gifts with drawings and pictures, the students at the middle school are donating items, Daisy and Girl Scout troops are making gifts and my daughters elementary school classes will be making Valentines. I have the honor of bringing all these gifts of love to India with me along with pictures for the girls from the last visit, so they have keepsakes from all the volunteers who have touched their lives.
Composing well written blogs is not one of my strengths, but I will do my best to share my thoughts and experiences as I make this journey. The most important thing I want to do is to convey to whoever reads this that your help through donations, product purchases or simple word of mouth does truly make a difference. You don’t have to be a millionaire, celebrity or champion of any sort to give love and hope. Just put your whole heart in and shake it all about, ‘cause that’s what it’s all about!