Stories From the Field: When Rose Blooms

I received the following letter and story from Megan Kadrmas, a volunteer with the God’s Child Project in Antiqua Guatemala this morning.  I’m sharing it with you for three reasons.   First, Low Hanging Fruit is a community for nonprofit practitioners.  Hearing from each other is essential to building a community bond.  Second, Megan tells a compelling story that should be heard–both as an example of good storytelling, and because of its intrinsic value.  Finally, I have an especially soft spot in my heart for little girls, so if I am able to help even one little Rose by letting Megan tell her story, I’ve had a good day. –Maureen

A quick introduction of myself: I am a volunteer with The GOD’S CHILD Project in Antigua, Guatemala. For the past year, I have seen lives transformed through hard work and the loving support of a large volunteer network. I also started regularly visiting your Low Hanging Fruit blog during this year for inspiration and motivation during those particularly challenging moments.
Usually, my work is directly with the orphans and families we work with. But this year everyone on the ground is getting involved in a fundraising and awareness campaign trying to avoid decisions that would break our hearts. Our organization supports 12,000 orphans worldwide and is financed almost entirely on small, private donations. Between a difficult financial year and the worst rainy season in recent Guatemalan history, we are looking at the need to send 800 children back to the streets.
This is where things seem to be heading. But no one down here is giving up yet. We´re working hard and praying harder that things will turn around. Our volunteers and staff here in Guatemala have been working 14 hour days on fundraising efforts. We’ve even had some of our paid staff members offer to donate their salaries back to the project for the next few months. Down here what is at stake is very real. To us, it´s not a number game but a name game. If we fail…it means Maria, Jose, Yennely, etc. will be left unprovided for. These are the same kids we promised just months ago that if they trusted us and attended school, we would stand by them until graduation.
The following story about a baby recently rescued by our organization will give you a window into our work. Our hope is that you would consider sharing it  to help us avoid answering these difficult financial questions.
Happy Holidays,
Megan

When Rose Blooms

Every 30 seconds, a child dies from hunger or preventable diseases. All children come into the world ready to grow and thrive. They want to be fed and they need to feel loved. The GOD’S CHILD Project’s center for malnourished infants (www.CasaJackson.org) is dedicated to saving children from a horrible death of starvation and curing the underlying conditions that lead to malnutrition. Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation today. One story that particularly touches the heart is Rose’s story.

Rose was found when Señor Garrido made his daily garbage collection rounds like a thousand times before. He removed trash from behind one house, then another. Rags and junk, an old doll, a soiled shirt, a pile of…

Baby.

Unable to believe his eyes, Garrido looked again. Barely blinking. Not daring to move. Eventually, slowly, he reached through discarded newspapers and greasy chicken bones to pull out a newborn infant, her umbilical cord still attached.

Hoping with every ounce of his will that she was still alive, he moved his fingers underneath her tiny mouth. To his surprise, a weak stream of breath gently escaped her little lips.

Rose’s new family became The GOD’S CHILD Project. Her bed would be in Casa Jackson Malnutrition Center. At first, it was hard for volunteers and staff to hold Rose, who was in a lot of pain and hurt by any touch. Yet soft, human touch is exactly what tiny Rose needed to know she was loved.

Little by little, she healed. Staff and volunteers watched in anticipation as the little dot on her medical chart slowly crept into the safety range for her size and weight. Rose is not the first, and sadly, not likely to be the last child to come to Casa Jackson because they simply have nowhere else to go.

In a world where people sometimes feel forced to make unimaginably horrible decisions, The GOD’S CHILD Project offer other options. Above all, the greatest need at Casa Jackson is for “huggers and holders:” volunteers to gently cradle an abandoned child and let it feel the healing power of love.

Among the trash and biting ants, there is no way to wish an abandoned newborn “Happy Birthday.” There is no one to say, “I love you.” In Casa Jackson and throughout The GOD’S CHILD Project, though, that’s what we do best.

As an organization dependant entirely on donations, the tough economic conditions are making us think about unimaginable decisions. These decisions involve having to turn away children pleading for our help. We are working hard and hoping harder that with your support we will not need to do this.

So this is our plea to you to open your door to the children of The GOD’S CHILD Project. Join us as work to save vulnerable children placed in unimaginable circumstances. Take a look at our alternative giving wish list at www.GodsChild.org. Please send this plea on to friend and family and please help us with a donation. In this season of giving please give a donation that will save a life. Visit www.casajackson.org and give a gift that will save a poor malnourished infant’s life.

Help Support Children like Rose!

Click here to make a donation.  Also, please Facebook-post and tweet this article. With 10 seconds of clicking, you can help us save lives!

Not sure helping one child makes a difference?  Consider the Girl Effect:

Want to share a story from your nonprofit?  Contact me about writing a guest post.

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