…Part 2 of a 2 post series on our Giving Tuesday Campaign with Tea Collection Clothing.
Our giveback with Door of Faith Orphanage in Baja, Mexico
A volunteer effort to give new clothing to children at the Door of Faith Orphanage in Baja, Mexico.
Mexico, here we come!
We were now prepped and filled the truck with new soccer balls, cleaning supplies, skateboards, helmets and the clothing for the Baja orphanage. After the truck bed was full and the shell closed, I hopped in the truck and we headed for the border. I was on my way, with my family by my side with the mission of bringing clothing and smiles to children in La Mision Baja, Mexico. After the border crossing I watched out the window to see the beautiful coastline, the giant Jesus Christ statue and the brightly colored buildings that make Baja unique. We made it to Rosarito and I knew we were almost there. As we turned onto the dusty dirt road I saw horses roaming and my excitement grew to fulfill our Giving Tuesday 2019 initiative. As I hopped out of the truck in front of the Door of Faith Orphanage I saw children running, playing, and laughing on the playground and my heart melted. I am well aware of the circumstances that bring children to live at the Mexican Orphanage. I understand the pain and internal scars that these sweet children may have because of their past circumstances and that made seeing the laughter and joy being shared even more powerful.
Door of Faith Fire Continued
Our family was met by Hanna, a volunteer and the Mass Marketing Coordinator for DOFO and she invited us on a tour. I saw first hand the near devastation that the recent fire, in October, left behind. The fire had burned brush less than three feet away from many of the DOFO buildings. I learned that it wasn’t because of the local firefighters that the orphanage was still standing. It was because of the men that stayed behind to fight the fire on their own. As Hanna shared more details, I looked at the burned brush and my eyes filled with tears. I wasn’t tearing up because of what could have happened, it was because of the love and dedication these men had shown through their actions. I was literally seeing a miracle that had taken place first hand and I couldn’t help but cry.
It Takes a Village
After Hanna’s guided tour we pulled the boxes of Tea Collection clothing out of the truck and headed into the dining hall. The dining hall is where more than 500 meals are prepped and eaten every day and because if its size it was the perfect location for us to pass out the gifts. My family and I organized the clothing on tables and as we prepped I caught eyes a child that was barely able to contain their excitement. Each of these incredible children were ready to be loved and spoiled so it was a good thing we were ready to do just that.
As each child was called by name I invited them to come get their new clothes which resulted in many high fives and hugs. Honestly, I think our family was really the spoiled ones in all of this. Their smiles filled the room with light, my heart with peace, and so many more feelings that are difficult to put into words. Even Kirra turned to me at one point and said, “It feels so good to bring happiness and lollipops to them today, can we do this again next month?”
Grab the gear!
After passing out the last of the outfits it was time to get outside and have some fun! Matt ran to open the truck bed and the kids were right at his feet. Every skateboard, helmet and soccer ball was in use before we knew it.
Now let’s skate!
Matt and I went to work buckling helmets and pulling children around on skateboards. We spent hours skateboarding and butt boarding down the paths with the kids because of how fun it was. Every single moment spent like this mattered so much and we didn’t want it to come to an end.
Not Goodbye, Just See You Later
As we drove home I was filled with peace, joy, and hope. I thought about Juliet giving her favorite self-made bracelet to a little girl and Kirra laughing as she played with the children. Every day, hour, and minute of prep was beyond worth it and I testify to that. Our family is already planning out new projects and opportunities to get us back down to La Mision.
Donate to the Door of Faith
I have attached this direct link to invite you to learn more about the Door of Faith Orphanage and/or to donate to their program. They have a lot of work to do to stay safe from future fires and to prepare for the mudslides that are coming with the rain so every dollar counts.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
This entire project wouldn’t have been possible without incredible people like Tea Collection’s Social Media Manager, Angela Mesgarzadeh who went the extra mile to be sure I received unique outfits for each of the children, reiterating the purpose of the children at DOFO having their own identity and self worth. It was cool to see that no two children ended up with the exact same outfit and I saw that the kids loved that part too as they showed their clothing to each other. So here is a huge shout out to you Angela!
This initiative was even more impactful because of our dear friend Tyler Culbertson and videographer Chris Evers. Thank you to the both of you for bringing joy to our family and to the children at the Door of Faith. We are grateful for you!
Some of you may ask, how can I contribute for Giving Tuesday?
We all have the opportunity to feel the joy of giving and that really is the reason for this holiday season. Here are ten simple ways to giveback.
1. Share a smile with someone
2. Get involved with a local charity
3. Do a beach or street cleanup
4. Do a service project with friends or family.
Ex, build homeless supply kits to pass out.
5. Bring a treat to a neighbor
6. Invite someone you don’t usually hang out with to do something fun
7. Say hello to five people you don’t know
8. Text the last three people you have messages from and tell them why you appreciate them
9. Write positive messages around town in sidewalk chalk
10. Donate to a worthy cause you are passionate about
Can I volunteer at an orphanage?
There are many orphanages that welcome volunteer efforts. Here are some ways I recommend starting with to get involved. Research orphanages near you, reach out and ask about orphanage volunteer opportunities. It turns out their most in-demand need for children at DOFO are the everyday necessities. Knowing this need has inspired the idea for our family to organize a “necessities drive” and raise donations of everyday products.
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- cleaning supplies
- laundry detergent