"We are going to turn all this into a garden," says Atassi, waving her hand towards the driveway. Looking out over the barren property, it seems like an impossible task. But as we leave, I notice a single red rose blooming among a small patch of weeds.
Children, women and a scattering of men, who have endured unspeakable violence and anguish, loss and horror, agony -- biblical in force and nature -- and have responded with unbounded love. Redemption. Resurrection. Faith. I leave Haiti with these gifts in abundance.
These 10 trips -- from volunteering in an orphanage in Cambodia to learning environmental stewardship on an organic farm in Scotland -- will enlarge your heart, help you live more mindfully, and inspire a better version of you to emerge.
When we are hit with snowstorms or worse, many of us have friends we can turn to, places to stay for a while. So many families don't have this support, these types of friends. They're all in the same boat. Their children are huddled together.
Just as important as finding your purpose is where it leads you, who it touches, what it changes, and the larger effect it has on the greater good. Sometimes your purpose leads you to a place you could never imagine -- case in point -- pajamas.
Will there be obstacles as you strive to make a difference? Absolutely. The greatest obstacle will be the temptation to give up: that easy option of living an isolated life amidst a world of suffering.
Yes, the phenomenon of malnutrition has become a reality in Greece ever since the beginning of the debt crisis in 2010, forcing a growing number of organizations and individuals into a daily fight to feed the hungry.
We can replace apathy with action by forming a loud and provocative voice for the millions of children languishing in orphanages. We can overcome the bureaucracies and political agendas that condemn bright kids to a highly compromised future.
As I gave out pajamas every day, I was continually enlightened by the reaction from moms and dads who were donating to Pajama Program and from the women and men who were caring for children receiving our pajamas.
More children are remaining in orphanages for longer periods of time, thereby incurring the increased developmental and psychic harm that comes from being institutionalized, while also diminishing their prospects for ever moving into a permanent family.