Back to School: So Much / So Little

August 23, 2013

By Laura Milstein

As children in the United States head back to school there is always a flurry of anticipation and excitement — and the usual rush to make sure the school supplies and wardrobe are in order. I am counting my blessings and recalling my experience at an orphanage in Haiti during a visit with CMBM’s Global Trauma Relief team last March. Here are my notes from that trip, and my thoughts about each of us being the bridge between scarcity and abundance.

We visited an orphanage this morning outside of Port-Au-Prince. 72 children are living here, running around in all directions. A young boy without pants weaves between his classmates. The children are surrounded by gated gray-green concrete walls. A few crowded rooms off to one side are filled with wooden benches or bunks, most of them missing mosquito nets. The stench of urine is overpowering and I can hardly stay. No toys, no books… kids running around in all directions.

My heart breaks. How can we have so much and they have so little?

They crowded into one room and we sang songs and did breathwork and meditation, skills Haitian CMBM graduates have been working on with them for the last 10 weeks. The staff at the school shared that the mind-body skills have helped the behavior of 60% of the older kids. Considering what they live with, that was good news. I think the personal attention helps, too.

We are continuing to work with the whole school. Everything is needed here. We can do more to help physically, too. This was the most difficult part of the trip — to experience and smell the cruel reality of poverty. And yet, the kids smiled and laughed with us.

We have so much. It makes me proud to be a fundraiser—a connector between deep needs, programs and institutions — and the people who care enough to give money to fulfill the needs. Will you help these children in Haiti? They are counting on you. It only takes a moment to celebrate our abundance and share it with these needy children.

I invite you to champion a cause no matter what it is. Give philanthropically in the spirit of abundance NOW. Your donation is not only money—but energy that makes the people working for your cause light up and keep going. YOU are the source. The world needs you…. Go make the world better, right now!!!!

To contribute to the orphanage, visit this page, and press the donate button. Thank you!