22 Jun Volunteers All Around Us
By Ken Walker
Summer is traditionally mission trip season, but at Dorie’s Promise helpers don’t just come from other countries. Numerous volunteers from around Guatemala City regularly offer their services.
Among them is a nurse-therapist who provides therapy for special-needs children every Monday morning.
An American living in Guatemala comes at least twice a week to spend time with the babies. So do a group of high school students, who in addition to caring for infants play with older children, do crafts or help with homework.
University students also support the homes. They include a group of psychology students who visit every Monday to work with preschoolers. A group of law school students come once a month for various activities.
“We just love to come here,” says a high school student. “We enjoy sharing with the kids and we can feel they love us too. It is special to share a little of our time with them. I have realized how blessed I am and how important it is to share with others.”
“At the beginning we didn’t know what to expect at Dorie’s Promise or how it was going to be,” says one of the future psychologists. “We just found a group of kids with amazing behavior and a lot of love to share. Once you are here, you fall in love with all of them.”
These volunteers play an invaluable role in the orphanage’s functioning.
“With them we have more hands to reach the goals we have set for our children,” says Director Alej Diaz. “We are able to provide them better care every day. And, we can give our kids the opportunity to share with more people and learn from everybody.”
These valued visitors give their hearts as well as their hands, frequently asking about needs and donating such items as school supplies, food, milk and toys.
One volunteer even made arrangements for her father—a dentist—to take care of the children’s dental health. Sound teeth help more children enjoy food prepared by a group of chefs. These volunteers support and train the cook with different recipes and tips for healthier, tastier menus.
Alej says these local volunteers demonstrate an important lesson for mission teams from other countries—the need to help back home, not just in Guatemala.
“When you want to do something good and feel God’s call to be His hands, you need to ask yourself: ‘Who can I support? With my hands and willingness what can I do?’” she says.
“Once you answer those questions, you will see many needs around you. There are a lot of ways in which you can give opportunities to those in need.”