Like anything in life, a series of events occurred to get us to this point. From getting to know your neighborhood to a bigger community, we had started some charity work when our kids were younger. In 2012, the girls made acorn necklaces and sold them at local craft fairs.
To their astonishment, they were able to raise $500, which they donated to Hagar’s Sisters, a place for women experiencing domestic abuse. This was a profound moment for us, because we learned that we can have a positive impact on people’s lives.
After being involved in a few different charitable efforts over the years, we learned about the Camino de Santiago, a 1,000-year-old sacred pilgrimage through Europe. We devised a plan to create a family summer vacation of sorts while fundraising $5,000 to build a well in India through the organization Living Water. Our girls, Hannah and Jina, sent an email to our friends and family right before the trip, and the donations just kept increasing as we traveled through Portugal. We thought $1,000 would be a great accomplishment, but as we neared the end of our walk in Spain, we had already raised $3,500. There are few children on the Camino de Santiago, so many pilgrims were curious and supportive, which was very heartening.
One day, Hannah excitedly sent out an email stating, “we are actually so much closer to the goal than we had ever dreamed.”
We ended our trip surprised to find that we had raised $4,400! Right before Christmas, Hannah and Jina made cookies and soap to sell next to my jewelry stand in the local craft fair, which brought us to our goal of $5,000! We were able to raise the money!
We learned that if you have the right heart, and you can share that with others, there is no end to what can be done.