Before the holiday break, myself and two of my colleagues went to Tijuana, Mexico to deliver clothing gifts to an orphanage. The trip was part of a company wide Angel Tree, where an employee selects a tag from a Christmas tree and purchases items listed on the tag for a boy or girl at the orphanage that we support.
The day that we were set to leave, I had a critical work issue arise that I couldn’t solve. I sent an email to our financial controller and project manager to make them aware of the issue, but it really put me in a foul mood. So I started to complain to my colleague that I didn’t want to go and if the trip was canceled, I’d be so much happier.
The coordinator from the orphanage arrive and off we went for an hour drive from San Diego to Mexico. During the drive the coordinator told us his story of how he got involved with the orphanage. He worked in the IT tech/computer field and his girlfriend at the time was taking trips to Mexico to visit the orphanages. She asked him to go, but he was too busy living the good life and partying in Mexico to be bothered with visiting an orphanage.
One day he decided to accompany his girlfriend on a trip to an orphanage. He really liked the experience. So he went again. And again. And again. He continued to visit the orphanages for many years until he had an opportunity to work for the foundation full time.
When we arrived the kids came out to greet us and help us carry all the food items that we brought as we planned to have lunch with the group. There are about 24 children living on the property between the ages of 2 to 18 yrs. There is a house mother that keeps everyone in line and the older girls help out with the little kids.
|Coloring with the kids|
|This little cutie named Antonio captured my heart.|
The kids were really happy and playful. One of my colleagues was fluent in Spanish, so it was helpful to have someone translate what the kids were saying. I can say that my three semesters of college Spanish didn’t help me at all. I could hear a word or two, but could not put the conversation together. The kids seems to realize this, so there was a lot of pointing and tugging to get us to move around.
For lunch, we hired a portable pizza guy. He made the pizza’s in a portable oven outside. We had fruit salad for the kids too. After lunch and clean up, it was gift time.
|As sweet and adorable as she looks <3|
|This delightful boy said thank you in English when we left <3|
|The girl on the right with the blue sweater is at a university studying nursing|
After everyone opened their gifts is was time for us to go as it was 2:00 pm and the border crossing was going to get busy. I have to say that I didn’t want to leave and the lovely spirit of these children certainly lifted my sour mood. I can see why the coordinator decided to leave the corporate world to help support the orphanages.
I also learned that while I always give money to charities, it’s more important to give your time and to see the impact that you can have on another human beings life.