As I sit in the airport and reflect on this past week, browsing through the images I’ve captured, I fall upon one that was perhaps one of the more comical moments of the trip, but symbolically, tells it all. I got up close and personal, more than I realized, as I tried to get a shot of this sheep. Little did I know I was almost nose to nose before I pulled the camera away. This first experience with Dando Amor has been about taking a closer look at how people treat each other in this world, as well as taking a deeper look at myself as a person.
We have learned of the most tragic stories, from children being abandoned in dumpsters to unthinkable abuse in their young years with parents ending up in prison. We have also seen individuals that have dedicated their whole selves to service and these children. Day in and day out, they change, bathe, feed, love, and cry for those much less fortunate. I have never seen such patience and kindness in the world as I witnessed this past week. I have never seen such selfless acts. For many, it doesn’t matter how little they have, they give to those that have even less.
Even if it means they go without a meal themselves.
This week has made me also take a deeper look at who I am and how I treat those in need. Do I make eye contact with the homeless people on the street that come up to my car every day in Chicago? Do I give them a smile, leave them some food, or say a prayer for them? Sometimes…but I could do more. What am I thankful for in my life? Do I count my blessings every day for two beautiful children, a husband that loves me, and a house with warm beds and food? Barely missing a life in a Colombian orphanage myself, how fortunate am I to have been loved, cared for, and educated by my family. Going home, I think about how I can raise more money and awareness for these beautiful orphans, but also how I can change my everyday acts and thoughts.
There’s always more to do and that can be overwhelming, but I’ve learned that it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference to a child: holding a child’s hand and singing to them, helping a handicapped child play a musical instrument for the first time, the warmth of a sweatshirt during chilly nights, or a hot plate of chicken and rice for a stomach that has been aching with hunger.
Dando Amor is truly making a difference and every individual can too.