It’s been almost 3 years to the day since we brought our new son David to our home in Phoenix, Arizona from a Juarez, MX orphanage. He had just turned 14 years old. A long period of adjustment for all of us ensued. He never forgot where he came from and for the first time, he talked about his past a little from the stage at my San Diego seminar earlier this month.
He did it as a way of explaining what it is like for the orphans in Mexico. In 2006, he started a charity called “Thunder Mission.” There are many great charities helping in Mexico and other place and some even targetting the shelter, food and clothing needs of orphans. He lived it and he feels that he knows what the kids crave most – personal attention, demonstrations that they are cared for and positive role models.
The genesis of the charity was when he asked to speak to an advanced Spanish class at a local high school. The kids were mesmerized with his story and, on the spot, he invited them to come with him on a trip to the orphanage. Over 300 kids signed up that first day! Parents report that their children come back with a perspective and appreciation they never had before. I recently read one honor student’s college application. She was asked the most important thing she’d ever done. She said it was going to Juarez on that first trip. She said she lived in a shell before that trip and now she has an appreciation for other people and other places that will impact the rest of her life.
Like David says, “Why change one life, when you can change two?” The US teens and the Mexican children both benefit from the interaction and the time.
I’ve emailed a few times about some of the real-life financial struggles that David’s fledgling charity has been facing. Thank you to all in the TaxLoopholes community for your generous support.
They now have funding for at least 2 more years of trips and have begun looking for a piece of land to build a recreation spot for the inner city orphans. It will also provide a safe place for the teens to stay when they go down to visit with the children.
David raised just a little under $40,000 at this past seminar. The next day he excitedly called his board (all teens – As the treasurer, I’m the only adult on the board.) and they have all committed to stay with the project even as many go away to college next year. This, they say, is the best thing they have ever done. And that may be the greatest gift of all, the knowledge that they have done something very good and something very important.