Virginia Carreno wrote -
For years people have been calling us crazy for some of the things we've done. Although we can't say we disagree, we do have enough common sense to know that we have been born into a ridiculously fortunate situation with beautiful lives and beautiful people in them. Our worst day is still one hundred times better than what some people must endure every single day. Hopefully we'll never know what it's like to go to bed hungry or worry about drinking our water because it might be contaminated with deadly pathogens. While we have always been grateful for our lives it was not until we met someone like Bob Solis that we realized we could actually make a difference and do something.
We met Bob a couple of years ago and learned about an organization that he started in South Africa to care for children... Children that have nothing and often times less than that. One story that Bob shared with us we believe really defines what his organization, Open Arms Home for Children, does for the people of South Africa.
He told us about a mother with two month old twin boys whose father was dying of AIDS. Their HIV positive mother, broke and sick herself, was trying to care for two infants without food or money. On top of that, she knew that the only way she could feed them – breastfeeding – would risk transmitting the HIV virus to her boys. Under unbearable pressure to feed her hungry sons, the mother knew that she had to do something. She did what most of us would find unthinkable — she called Open Arms and asked them to take her sons away. That is what Open Arms does, it provides hope and a future for children in desparate situations.
Open Arms Home for Children since its inception has provided for those orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in South Africa. Especially important, Open Arms has also begun educating those children on site in order to provide them the best tools possible for them to improve their own situation. Bob told us himself that he sees many of these children going on to become doctors, engineers, and leaders who will ultimately make South Africa a better place. In fact, a new classroom structure is currently being added onto the orphange to give these kids a proper learning environment. Great news... but we know they need more resources in order to make the school as effective as possible.
So as a result, when we decided to climb Mt Kilimanjaro this year, we decided to use it as a platform to raise money and awareness for Open Arms. We have made an intial donation to start off the fundraiser and when we gain the summit of the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 ft, we will match that donation. What we really need is your help to make that donation even bigger and more meaningful.
At the end of the day, we can't fix world hunger, we can't house all the homeless or stop child abuse in a single stroke. The world's a tough place... bottom line. What we can do is help these kids have a better future. It's tangible, it's acheivable, and with your help there will be a group of grateful children on the other side of the world who have a chance because we took a few moments to care.