Monday, February 28, 2011
I leave in one month. I'm volunteering with a friend and her mom at a Christian-based organization in Addis. I will be there for three weeks. And the entire time I'm there, I'll be with the children of Ethiopia. I am excited beyond words, but nervous and scared at the same time. I don't know what to expect from this trip, but I do know that it will be life-changing.
And when I think about these children's books that we as Americans expect to have in vast quantities on our children's shelves at home, next to their beds with cozy, colorful bedding, and a nightlight always left on, it makes me think: how do these Ethiopian children who don't have books and beds with cozy, colorful bedding and nightlights and moms and dads to tuck them in - how do they know that they are loved?
I want to be able to go over there and say to each one of their sweet faces, "Guess How Much I Love You?" I don't even know you, but I love you enough to bring you basic things that every child needs - a toothbrush, some soap, something to keep your feet warm at night. I love you enough to hope and pray that you can be educated and have a chance in this world, and that perhaps I can help with some children's books, puzzles, coloring books, markers, crayons, and pencils. I love you enough that I will try to provide you with just a few things that might keep you healthy - children's vitamins, diaper rash ointment, cotton balls, Neosporin, and baby wipes. I love you enough that perhaps I can give you something to wear. And enough that maybe I can find something that will put a smile on your face, like a soccer ball, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, balloons or stickers. I love you this much.
You see, every child deserves to feel loved. And there are so many ways - easy, easy ways - to show them that they are. It doesn't take the newest toy on the market. It takes basic necessities that they live so many of their days without.
So here is my plea:
For anyone who wants to help me show these children that they are loved, there is a list of items below that I would be more than happy to collect and take over with me to Ethiopia to give to these precious souls. Contact me and we can work out logistics, but I need to receive everything no later than Saturday, March 26th.
Alternatively, for anyone who would like to contribute $$ for us to buy some of these items to take over, or to give to the organization directly, either send me a check or click on the blog link that follows, and you can donate via PayPal to Ben & Lauren Huss. Lauren and her mom are the ones serving with me over in Ethiopia. (*Note: if you choose this option, please put in the notes that you know me*). If you like, you can specify what you prefer your $$ to be spent on.
Blog link to contribute via PayPal: http://teamhuss.blogspot.com/2011/02/since-many-of-you-asked.html
Items requested for donation
diaper rash ointment
stickers for activities
foam letters or shapes
toddler/preschool board books in English
kids' Bibles in English
books for 1st-4th graders
new or gently used clothing (particularly for 7-11 year olds) (also pants only, no shorts)
I'm not usually one to ask for things. I actually feel quite uncomfortable doing it, but I know that I cannot do this alone. And I also know that I don't want that to limit these children to just what I can provide for them. And I know that many of you out there have amazing hearts and have the desire to help others wound tightly inside your DNA. So if I may, I would like to ask you all to do one of three things: 1) show these children love through the gift of items 2) show them love through a $$ donation or 3) pray for this trip and for these children. All are equally important and equally impactful. And certainly equally appreciated.
If you have any questions at all, please DO NOT hesitate to contact me.
Thank you, sweet friends, for helping me show these children how much they are loved.