Walk For Syria/Turkey.

P1000211A Visit to Takengon

“Every single person in this room is going to help me change the world”

Such were the words of one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. Her name was Eleanor Josaitis. She watched the Detroit riots in 1967 with deep sadness and frustration. “How?” she wondered, “can I ever make a difference?”

She was a loving housewife and mother of five, but had no experience raising funds or building programs. Yet she was determined to help the thousands of people facing poverty and injustice in her community. She told me, “I didn’t know how – but I started with one step and one idea — you have to start. You have to have the guts to try something.”

P1000144Since that time 42 years ago, Focus: HOPE has trained more than 8,000 individuals with technical skills and served the equivalent of 10 million meals to impoverished families and seniors. When you look at Eleanor in person she is a five-foot tall “dynamo” lit by a fire burning bright from within. She is a person of deep faith and conscience. Though they were born a distance apart in time and geography, she and GiveLight’s Dian Alyan are sisters in spirit.

I am certain that GiveLight will also be stronger 42 years from now; and that Dian will also have gathered a large community of active men and women who are committed to improving the lives of others. I believe that it all starts with the people in this community. To all of you receiving this newsletter, thank you for having the guts to try.

P1000088My friends and I got involved in GiveLight around a year ago. Another friend introduced us to the volunteers, to Dian, and to the mission of the organization. We felt that our involvement would make for an excellent opportunity to try out some “volunteerism”. My friends and family have been blessed with the resources to travel and see the world. Starting this year, we began working on a way to share some of those resources more specifically for people in need at our travel destinations.  GiveLight Foundation made it possible to build a fundraising program for a cause we could share with our friends and family and combine these efforts with our vacations. I encourage you all to consider this possibility for one of your future family trips as well.

Travelling to Takengon and visiting with the inhabitants of Ya-Ya-san Noordeen was something we will remember for the rest of our lives.  We attempted to communicate the love and support from all of our family and friends to the orphans we were visiting.  Each of our supporters was touched and inspired by the story of the children working hard on their education, faith, and life skills. I can only imagine that the more visitors they have in Takengon, the more confidence and peace they will enjoy for their accomplishments and future.

I will never forget the children’s beautiful smiling faces.

“Somewhere out beyond the ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Jalal ad-Din Rumi




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