For the last 20 years Charity Anywhere Foundation has helped volunteers go into poor areas and help on medical/dental expeditions or have worked with volunteers build and repair homes in poor neighborhoods in Central and South America and Mexico. There goal was to provide better homes and better medical advantages for those who were struggling in poverty. There have many stories to be told. But this one helped the volunteers to understand that their service was more than providing a better place to live.
Many years ago a religious group came to a poor village in Mexico. They worked together to build homes for some of those who desperately needed adequate places to live. A little girl named Juana lived in that village. Her family was very poor and lived in very challenging circumstances. She knew she was poor and would never be able to raise her head above poverty. Her eyes were cast down because she thought she had no worth. But that year these wonderful people from America came again and chose her family to assist. They spent many days hammering and pounding and painting. To her amazement, they build a nice house for her family where they could live and be safe. The Americans were smiling and playing with her. She was so happy. She began to think that if these wonderful people would build a house for her family that she must be important afterall. She thought that maybe she was an important person.
The years went by and little Juana changed her attitude and her thinking. She worked very hard so that she could go to school. In school she studied every day so that she would do well and could get a job to help her family and others. She realized that she was smart and could learn hard things. As she finished high school she determined that she wanted to be a dentist. She knew she could do it. She continued to study and work hard and soon she graduated dental school.
Dr. Juana Ramirez now works in her own office in the outskirts of Tijuana. She said that she knows how important it is to have Americans come to help. She now donates some of her time to work with the students and families who come to her area with Charity Anywhere Foundation. She wants others to have the same experience that she had. She wants other children to know that they have value and can do great things. Thanks to Dr. Ramirez, many families are able to have free dental care through CAF and their volunteers. She said that she hopes that there will be a brighter future to all those that experience the generosity of these young Americans. She envisions the changes one child at a time.
We have a wonderful project going with Clearfield High School. They are celebrating the schools 50th anniversary. They are going to Guatemala at Christmas with 44 volunteers and 15 adults. They plan to help build 3 day care centers so women could earn money while the day care center takes care of their children. They are going as Charity Anywhere volunteers. We are busy getting thing ready to go for them.
A member of our advisory counsel, Chris Howell, is now in India at a leper colony. She contacts us each week. I was at the humanitarian center last week and saw some leper bandages there. I asked what they were doing with them. Nothing. They were sending them to local hospitals as normal bandages. I asked if I could have them. They gave me all they had and promised to save them for me. We will be sending leper bandages to India soon.
I was out last week doing some shopping for Charity Anywhere Foundation. During my search for a Home Depot, I pull over to the side of the road and ask this young man for directions to the nearest Home Depot. He was very nervous and I could tell he was mentally challenged. He told me where the nearest Home Depot was but then asked for $5’s. His friends had brought him to this local town and left him. He had no way to get back home since he had no money and the trolley cost $5. He was also hungry. I could tell he was very distressed and upset that his friends would do that to him. I reached in my pocket and out came a $10 bill. I gave it to him.
I then went to Home Depot and was looking for a plastic tote box to ship to Ecuador. I was having a challenge on finding the right box. A lady came up and asked if she could help me. I explained what I needed and took me to the very spot where there were many boxes. I explained that I needed the box to be padlocked when shipping. She asked me what I was using it for. I told her that it would carry medical and dental equipment and supplies for our charity work in Ecuador. She proceeded to tell me she was the manager and I could have the tote box for free since it was for charity. What are the chances that the store manager would come up to you to help you find an item. Yes, you guessed it, it cost $11.00. My $10 bill to the stranger was quickly recovered.
BE GOOD AND DO GOOD. Gordon Carter
MEXICO CAF MOTTO STORY
On December 26, 2009 I was on the border of Mexico trying to help a family with Grandma and Grandpa get through customs with their van full of materials for our projects. The Mexican customs agent was a very nice guy but didn’t handle English real well. I was with Grandpa on the back of the van with the van doors open and the customs agent was asking Grandpa what all the materials were for. There was a big bag with girls clothes in it. Grandpa said it was for his granddaughter that had already crossed the border. The customs agent asked about a sack of beans. They were a donation for the poor. He asked about a bag of used shoes. They were a donation. The customs agent then told us that used clothing were not allowed to cross the border because it hurt there street shop businesses that deal with used clothing. The customs agent then asked if there any other donations. Grandpa said no. Then there was a bag of rice that was questioned. Another donation that Grandpa was unaware. The customs agent started to be suspicious about the information that grandpa was giving him.
The customs agent then went up to the front and started to talk to Grandma. She told him about each donation that was in the van. He asked her what they were doing in Mexico. She told him to help the poor and build a house. She then proceeded to pull out an email letter that Charity Anywhere had sent her. It listed all the items that would be helpful to the work. He took the letter and she kept telling him about the donations and the building of a house. He looked the letter over and immediately said, I see by your letter that you are going to Do Good and Be Good. That is all I need to know. You may go on into Mexico. His limited English understood what Do Good and Be Good was all about.
Who would have ever thought that our Motto would ever enable us to cross a border to do good.
Miracle in Mbour Senegal The Miracle at the orphanage in Mbour Senegal, Africa View Larger Map In June, 2009 a small group of 8 from Charity Anywhere Foundation traveled to Mbour, Senegal, Africa to help an orphanage. As we met with Michelle, the manager of the orphanage, we found out that they were very concerned about the milk supply. They had 2 weeks supply for the newborns and 4 weeks supply for the older babies. They had been buying milk from Nestles in Dakar and were now behind $6000 on the bill . They had then changed over to buy the milk from a pharmacist in Mbour at retail. They were behind with him also. We also found out that they had 175 children there with 3 more coming that week. Half were under the age of 2.
The eight of us were very concerned about the milk supply because we had not brought enough money to pay the bill off at Nestles. We prayed and discussed various options on how to help. One option was to go to Dakar and meet with Nestles to see if they would forgive the debt. Our Senagaleze contact, Ousmane, made arrangements for 2 of us to travel to Dakar and meet with Nestles sales people. It took us 2 hours to get there and they were waiting for us. Just before we arrived, Ousmane had a relative meet us and go with us to Nestles. He was a pharmacist. The four of us met with Nestles and found out that since the bill was 3 months old that they could not forgive the debt. They did indicate that once the bill was paid in full that they would sell the milk at a special reduced rate to help the orphanage.
We left sad and disappointed. How could we get this milk supply problem solved?
On our last day at the orphanage we got all the donations we had brought out on a table to present to Michelle, the manager. As I was getting the last items on the 2 tables a big beautiful bus pulled up in front of the orphanage. Men in suits started to pour out of the bus with African women all dressed in their beautiful African attire. These were wealthy people. Once the bus was empty, they opened the belly of the bus and started to unload boxes. It took me about 10 seconds to realize that the belly of the bus was loaded with milk. We formed a human unloading line and stacked the boxes in a big pile. I was brought to tears when I realized that the pharmacist that went with us to Nestles had contacted all these pharmacists at the convention that week in Dakar and they all donated either milk or money to help the orphanage. What a miracle that was that day.