Often I become overwhelmed when thinking about all the problems in this great big world of ours. Because really, there are times when just getting through a "normal" day is all I can do. Add to that thoughts of genocide, people starving, children with no opportunities for education, and honestly, hiding in my bedroom for the rest of my earthly existence sounds inviting. There is so much to take in, so many hurting and hopeless. What could I possibly do to make this world better? Well for starters, I have to focus on my children. I have to raise functional, open-minded, compassionate, kind human beings. And, I want them to be "thinkers". Because all the "doers" in the world began as "thinkers". Rather than becoming completely overwhelmed by all that ails this world, I can get started in my little corner. Do all that I can right here, right now....one step at a time.
While I would love to hop on a plane, and find myself in one of our world's countless aching countries armed with hope and the resources to make a difference, it's not my time. But I pray, with every fiber of my being, that one day I will have the opportunity. For now, I'll prepare myself by being a "thinker". I'll open my eyes, mind, and heart more frequently. I'll educate myself on issues, even if I can't change things. When my time does come, I'll be ready.
It's good to know there are people gettin' it done. "Doers" who most certainly began as "thinkers". My DSF (dear sister friend) Valsy introduced me to the story of some phenomenal high school students. I think you'll find Mallory and Meredith O'Malley, as well as their fellow classmates at Saint Pius X Catholic School (in Kansas City, Missouri), to be more than a little inspiring.
Did you know that Southern Sudan holds the world's largest displaced population? Due to the horrific effects of war and genocide, two generations of Southern Sudanese have no education, 85% of the population is illiterate. Currently, over 300 children do their learning under a tree in the village of Turalei. During the rainy season (May-October), there is no school. But one man would like to change all of that. Turalei is the home village of Manute Bol, a former NBA player. His goal is to build a primary school for the children of Turalei. The primary school will welcome Darfurian children and Southern Sudanese children, in an effort to show some sign of reconciliation for all of Sudan. This school will cost around $150,000 to build. Thankfully the O'Malley sisters and their classmates were up for a challenge.
Mallory and Meredith serve as co-presidents of the Letters of Compassion (L.O.C.) group at Saint Pius. The group was founded in hopes of raising awareness of world social issues such as genocide, human suffering, and poverty. In just 7 months, the L.O.C. group (with the help of their entire high school community) has raised over $8,000.00 for the Manute Bol School Project. The group has spearheaded various fundraisers such as Barnes & Noble Book Fair Partnerships, selling candy grams, student raffles, and a Spring Bazaar/Craft Fair just to name a few.
The efforts of Mallory, Meredith, and other students at Saint Pius are being recognized by True Hero. True Hero is a non-profit organization granting cash awards to schools and youth groups that sponsor service trips and activities. These cash awards help schools continue their service programs. You can cast your vote for Saint Pius' Manute Bol School Project here. While it is true that each and every project listed is doing great good, I voted for the Saint Pius project. Kansas City, Missouri will always hold a piece of my heart. It was there that I was blessed to meet amazing "thinkers" and "doers". This is my chance to honor some that I didn't have the chance to meet. Not to mention, most of the other projects have been taken on by college groups...I'm a fan of high school kids.
There is already good news. Construction of the primary school has begun, with the first purchase of a new brick press. When the O'Malley sisters were asked why Saint Pius X students are so eager to be involved with this project, this was the response:
"...five days a week we are able to attend a school with four walls and a roof...we are offered endless amounts of opportunities to insure us bright futures, in Turalei, this is unfortunately not the case." (Mallory)
"Because we believe that education is the key to a prosperous and peaceful future, this is the most meaningful gift we can possibly help give to the children in the village of Turalei." (Meredith)
Well said girls, well said.
Wait. Before you leave, check out the video. Thanks.