25 Sep What We Did This Summer: In Our Communities
By Kelly Shank –
The children of Dorie’s Promise are our highest priority. Through adoption, safe reunification, and community empowerment we’d love to see the number of vulnerable children in Guatemala decrease. Helping communities, especially struggling families is the mission of our community projects. As our mission program has grown we’ve worked hard to become better so that we’re making a positive difference in every community where we work. We’ve learned what helps and how to promote self-reliance and dignity within communities.
One of the biggest differences for us this year has been the addition of a new position, dedicated strictly to managing our community projects and helping us make the best impact with our time, money, and talents. Those who visited Dorie’s Promise this summer had the chance to meet Bertha, our new Community Development Director. She brought together all of the community relationships and the experience of our staff to start building a vision for long-term involvement in communities.
Thanks to the help of our generous trip participants this year, we were able to provide families with these gifts:
- 213 Water Filters
- 180 Food Baskets
- 48 Bunkbeds
- 17 Pilas
- 16 Concrete Floors
- 3 Concrete Stoves
- 2 Home Repairs
- 1 Metal House
- 1 Prefabricated House
Numbers help you understand how much we did but they don’t convey the impact we made in the lives of these families.
When we give water filters to families not only do they have clean drinking water in their homes but they also save money otherwise spent on buying water. What if that money could buy food or school supplies? During one visit this summer we were able to surprise a single mother with a food basket. She was completely overwhelmed by our gift. Although she works hard there are times that she struggles just to buy food for her family. Our gift came at a time when she desperately needed help.
We are finally finding our identity as a missions organization. Our experience providing high quality care in our orphan home has taught us a very valuable lesson that we are using to define our community projects.
We are going to do the highest quality projects we are capable of doing with the money, time, and abilities that God provides while empowering local communities and extending dignity to those we serve. This principle is guiding us towards the types of projects we will do in the future and who we work with.
As she reflected on her first summer with us, Bertha shared two experiences that highlight her vision for communities:
The Cil Hernandez family received a new house this summer during the Clyne family’s visit. Receiving a new house was about more than just a building to their family. After losing their home to a fire, the family was desperate to provide even the bare necessities for their children. The family explained to our team that receiving a home and bunkbeds renewed their hope. They didn’t expect help and our overwhelming gift gave them hope for their future.
Later in the summer, the Perez Albizures family also received a new home. This single mother and her daughters are committed to their community, giving their time to help work on the new school being built near their home. Bertha was inspired by the team’s dedication to building the best home they could for this family. Even during a rain storm, the team and family worked together to ensure the project would be completed before the end of the week. Seeing the excitement as the little girls danced in their new home helped us all understand that by working with the community we give people the opportunity to help themselves and improve their lives.
Our work in these communities is about more than meeting material needs. We intend to form long-term relationships that strengthen families and show the most marginalized and vulnerable people that they are loved, they are worthy, and they are able to live fulfilling lives.