It was night. A cool gusty evening, darkness had enveloped the children’s home. I trekked across the play yards, on my way to Casita 8, to pick up the five year old boys and girls. The wind whipped my hair and muffled my ears. I arrived to the door and knocked, asking permission to enter. The Tia, the house mom, opened the door and I spied inside to the cozy living room. Ten little boys and girls, expectant smiles on their faces, sat patiently on the sofas. They were warm. They were cared for and they were fed. They were safe. They ran into the cool night, grabbing my hands, ready for the fun in store. Lily looked up at me, her round cheeks, rosy in the cool air, “Estoy fria!” She was cold. I rubbed her hands and pulled her sweater a little tighter as we lopped across the yard to the party. Lily quickly forgot the chill in the air when greeted at the party with popcorn.
The images of Lily, and all of the happy healthy children of Good Shepherd Children’s Home, stand in stark contrast to another girl I met in Honduras. There is a mountain in Honduras, a mountain made of garbage, of waste. At the pinnacle of this mountain there is a battle for survival. Stray dogs, vultures, cows and people, all are in the contest of survival, scavenging for food and for a life. On Wednesdays, a truck drives to the top of the mountain with huge pots of rice, beans and tortillas to provide a meal for these people, likely the only warm meal of their week. One recent Wednesday, I was in the back of that truck, scooping rice. That is where I met a fifteen year old girl. She hopped in the back of the truck to help distribute food. She lives there, on this mountain. She has a five month old baby who is sick. That haunts me. Somewhere, amongst the chaos of vultures, garbage trucks, cows, dogs and scavenging people, there was a sick five month old baby, whose mother loves it but cannot provide for it.
Despite the despair and extreme poverty that inhabits Honduras, hope and happiness colored my week there. I traveled to Honduras with Rice Bowls, an organization about which I am passionate. Rice Bowls helps to support orphanages around the world and helps provide healthy meals for orphans. I became a supporter of Rice Bowls after traveling with them to Haiti as a member of the Bridgewater Candle team. For each jar candle sold, Bridgewater Candle Company donates enough money to Rice Bowls to feed a child for a day. To date, Bridgewater has provided 3,534,942 meals. After seeing the need and the good in action, my store, Green Springs, started to match—for each jar candle sold at Green Springs, two kids are fed for an entire day. To date, Green Springs has provided 9,534 meals. It matters. For me, Rice Bowls is a success story. Rice Bowls is about the transformations, hope and the future. This is why Green Springs will continue to fight for children in need. Our soldiers in this fight are the good people of Rice Bowls and Bridgewater Candle Company and our wonderful customers who buy these great candles.
Thanks for reading. Make a difference, feed a kid.