Monday, October 20, 2008
change the truth trip: meet carol
A little over a year ago, Gloria told me she was planning her first “mission” to St. Mary Kevin. She was bringing with her a group of talented, interested people: artists and psychologists ready, willing and able to spend their time and energy helping children in need. I decided to tag along, and while my background and training as a lawyer didn’t prepare me, my desire to help people and seek an experience outside my comfort zone was my preparation.
I packed my bags in December, 2007 and traveled to a continent, a country and a village about which I knew very little and had an experience I could never have imagined. It literally changed my life. My time at St. Mary Kevin brought me both sadness and joy, but mostly awareness. The needs of the children are overwhelming, but so are the smiles on their faces. And the warmth in their hearts touched me.
I returned to NYC and spent more time thinking about my own life and what I wanted. I decided to make changes. I left the law firm I had founded over 20 years ago and decided to devote more time to endeavors outside of practicing law. Among other things, I joined the board of Change the Truth so that I could take a more active role in assisting St. Mary Kevin Orphanage. I started training and decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this past summer. And of course, going back to that part of the world for such a trek brought me back to the orphanage. My second visit was just as terrific as my first - seeing the children eight months later, smiling, growing and learning. And hearing progress reports from the teachers and from Rosemary and Joseph about the orphanage, the children and the projects for which Change the Truth could provide assistance. It simply warmed my heart.
I hosted, together with Gloria and Lynne, a fundraiser in NYC and spend time talking to my friends and others about our hopes and dreams to help the children. And now I find myself preparing for the next mission only a short two months away. Different from last year, I now know better what to expect, and it is no longer outside my comfort zone. St. Mary Kevin and the children there feel like home. I can’t wait to see their smiling faces once again.