There will be something very different about the team this year. I won't be leading it.
Team 6 will be headed by Suzanne Garr, a long-time friend to Change the Truth. Suzanne definitely meant it when she first told me she wanted to get involved! She has held fundraisers in her home town of Milwaukee, given presentations, rounded up countless donated items to take to Uganda and written enough pen pal/love letters to fill a mail truck. Simply stated: Suzanne has been a godsend to CTT and the children in Uganda.
Suzanne is a self-taught photographer/artist originally from Pennsylvania. Her experiences with kids is vast, having worked as a camp counselor for disadvantaged youth, a reading tutor, a volunteer at Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House and a Sunday School teacher. She has traveled to Ecuador, Kenya, Nepal, Thailand, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Bhutan, working as a volunteer and/or photographer. Suzanne also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. She earned her degree in journalism and marketing from St. Bonaventure University. Her career started in magazine publishing as a writer/editor and then ventured into print production.
I asked her to write a little something about her previous experience as a CTT team member (she was on Team 4 and 5) to share here on the blog. Following is the heartfelt missive that arrived in my inbox:
"It’s often a sad day when the team leaves SMK. Tears flow and hands get interwoven with one another. The children know when that day is coming, they start to ask you if you are coming back next December. Your heart automatically says yes, but you hesitate because you have to be sure if you are so as to not disappoint the children if you can’t.
Each year as it gets closer to that decision time to go or not, I always think to myself how can I
not go and hear their laughter, hold their hands and just be there. This year, Gloria and the
board asked me if I would consider going and co-leading the Team with Melissa. It was not a
difficult decision because my heart is always there whether I am physically there or not. It just
seems natural for me to be there in December. There is nowhere else I rather be.
So, in just a little more than two weeks, I will embark on my journey to the children of SMK.
I envision seeing their smiles and holding many hands and having my heart overflow with love
I am beyond excited for the Team this year. We have many fun and new things planned for the
kids. It will be different without Gloria at the helm and I know I will miss her guidance, but I am
confident that Melissa and the Team will forge new bonds, explore new avenues of fun and
create lifelong memories.
So when the day comes for the Team to leave, tears will fall, hearts will ache but the imprint of
the days spent at SMK, the laughter shared and the love given will not ever be forgotten.
I look forward to sharing our journey with you all through blog posts and, of course, photos!"