By Sarah “Uppie” Updegraff
I know there are many good causes to which you could choose to give. Hogar de Niños Renacer is the children's home where my husband Dave Andrew and I volunteered about ten years ago. The youngest of the children we loved, at that time, are now aging out of the children's home and trying to plan their futures. Most of the Honduran children like these, without opportunities or family support, end up in gangs, homeless or worse. Many of them flee illegally to the states.
You have the opportunity to change this trajectory by giving them access to an education.
These are children with no families and no safety nets. They remind me of the starfish story. What difference could be tossing one stranded starfish back into the ocean make? There are thousands of children abandoned and stranded in the ghettos of the world. It is true that there are many seas of children who could be bettered by an educational opportunity.
But these Kids are mine.
I have tucked them into their beds at night. I have calmed their fears when they awoke from nightmares. I have made tortillas (albeit not very well) for their lunches. And I have even shared their chicken-claw soup--a delicacy for the poor of Honduras.
I have had my heart broken realizing that none of them had someone who loves them BEST of all. None of the kids had the fierce advocates that parents become for their children. Their one way to build a life, after being saved from the streets and raised in a children's home, was to have access to an education.
If I could send them all to college, I would.
We are trying to raise sufficient funds to provide that opportunity to all of them through this nonprofit that is run by my mother Roberta Updegraff and other volunteers. In previous years, there have been only a handful of children who were willing to risk dreaming big enough to even ask for scholarships. A couple churches and a handful of volunteers were able to cover the costs. This year, there are more than these churches and volunteers can support alone.
One hundred percent of your donation--minus bank processing fees, go directly to the children.
For just $166 a month we can pay the full tuition (books, fees, and transportation costs) for one of these young adults. Dave Andrew and I as a family are sponsoring one young man. Please consider donating to help this cause.
You can get to know the student your funds are supporting.
The committee can put you in touch with the student as well. The young people would also benefit from having emotional support from a caring adult as they cross this threshold from the security of the children's home to the overwhelming world of the largest city of one of the most dangerous countries in the world. And they are stepping forward without any family support. You can provide that much-needed encouragement, and be the person that makes all the difference in their success. What difference could tossing one stranded starfish back into the ocean make? It makes a difference to THIS child. Be the one who makes a difference.