Photo: Haiti, 2015
It’s in my nature. I just want to help.
Over the years, I’ve been learning a lot about myself. I know that I enjoy writing, working with youth, and I especially enjoy traveling. It became genius to me when I realized I could fulfill all of my desires by going on mission trips.
I come from a Haitian background, and when the earthquake hit in 2010, I wanted to help. Five years later, I am on a plane with an amazing group of people – heading for Port-Au-Prince, the very place my grandmother was born. We were on a mission to help build homes and empower families. It was such a transformative experience. Haiti is a beautiful country, with beautiful people – and we should never forget that our community far exceeds the street we live on. If you’re a volunteer at heart, then you can truly donate your time anywhere in the world, including the senior center around the corner from you. If you ever forget why you should remain humble, I encourage you to help someone in need of something you take for granted. It’s really as simple as that. Working alongside natives to help advance the development of their communities, goes a great distance. What a beautiful thing to see people of varied backgrounds come together to make a difference. Talk about powerful. That’s what life is all about – everyone helping one another as best they can. This life is not about ourselves – it’s always been about what we can do for others. Think of what other people have done for you – the Dr. Martin Luther King Jrs of the world. More people should step up, and lend a helping hand to someone in need. It’s more fulfilling than any amount of money a job can pay. Donate a coat, assemble a care package, clean up your local park, help build homes, empower youth – schedule some time to be selfless. Think of the profession you’re in – maybe there’s a way you can lend your expertise or mentor someone interested in that field. What truly amazes me when I’m volunteering is the fact that the impact I think I’m making on others, does not compare to the impact they’re making on me. It’s a two way street. It’s priceless for me when I see children smile, because I showed interest in helping them learn to read, or when they witness me carrying cinder blocks being used to build a foundation for their soon-to-be home. There are so many things that come naturally to all of us, for me – it’s showing that I care, by lending a helping hand. It’s only the icing on the cake that the children in the photo have also received donated copies of my children’s book – Peers, Cheers, and Volunteers. It takes a village, to inspire a village.