07 Jul Finding a Way to Give Back in Real Time
I wanted to buy a few chessboards for children at a detention home in Gulu, Uganda. I wanted to get some new badminton equipment for children at a boy’s home in Bangalore, India. I was dying to buy soccer socks for each child playing pickup soccer every day after school and going home with bloody, blistered feet in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In Guatemala City, my classroom desperately needed new art and school supplies. I also wanted to print off the pictures I had taken to give to the children and parents, many of whom didn’t own a picture of themselves or their child.
These are all situations where I wanted to act and couldn’t or didn’t. In many of these cases the limiting factor was my budget. We all know that most people traveling to developing countries with a big heart are also traveling on a shoestring budget, and we also know that there are many people out there with resources who want to help. That’s where The Wandering Samaritan comes into play – connecting donors with real life “acts of good” and connecting world travelers with the means to make them happen. They’ve cut out all the overhead and are connecting donors with projects on the ground all over the world, in real time.
I am a good person who works hard 10 months a year to be able to afford to travel abroad in the summers and give back. I’ve been able to see and do so much and been touched by so many different people along the way. Each summer when I leave my current destination, whether it’s Cambodia, India, Guatemala, or Uganda, I leave with a to-do list. Usually many of the things on the list I could have done while I was there if I’d had the resources. In addition, usually the list doesn’t get accomplished. Despite my best intentions, upon my return to the States I get caught up in getting back into the swing of things with work, friends, and family. I think about the list often but hardly ever get anything done.
Having the ability to act when a need is seen already gives me more confidence and excitement going into my trip to Brazil* this month. I am thrilled and proud to count myself among the Wandering Samaritans, and I encourage you to join us. -Jane
*Jane Wells, a member of our Advisory Group, is currently spending 3.5 weeks volunteering with Project Favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We can’t wait to share her stories and adventures with you soon!