As a young person, I had considered teaching small children as a career option. Instead, I had four of my own children while most aspiring graduates were finishing college and beginning a career. This resulted in my 11 grandchildren whom I love unconditionally. I love spending time with them as it usually brings about life lessons that aren’t taught in a classroom. I often liken those teaching moments to pouring my life into theirs, much like pouring a glass of milk into an empty glass. Sometimes you can even see it being poured in.

Last night, I was at the Eastside Boy’s and Girls Club thanking the children with Youth Supporting Youth MN for their part in helping the orphans. There were lots of children, varied ages and they all sat impressively quiet listening to the story of how a group from all over the U.S. traveled to Africa to do what we could to make the lives of the orphans a bit better.  You could hear a pin drop. 

It made me once again think of how fulfilling it is to pour a part of myself into the life of a child…even a child I don’t know. Much like the aha moment I had in Peru when hauling heavy block on the building site and tears welled up in my eyes as I knew my small effort would bring smiles to the faces of children I would never meet. It reminded me of how our partners pour a part of themselves daily, all sprinkled with love and compassion, into the lives of orphans they serve every day. 

It warms my heart and brings about a sense of gratitude to just be a part of this work.