Saturday, January 29, 2011

Giving To Others

Well, my favorite singer, David Archuleta,  is in India right now visiting with and learning about the people that are served by one of his favorite charities, Rising Star Outreach. RSO is an organization that serves people with Leprosy and there families.  You see, in India, people suffering from this horrible disease are not helped by the government, but instead are forced to live an isolated life in colonies far from the bustling cities. Instead of receiving help, they are forced to beg on the street for what they can get.

David has told us, his fans, that this is not acceptable and we can do something to help these people. David was introduced to this problem through his dentist, who has gone to India with a medical team to provide these people their first dental help. When David's fans heard that money was needed for equipment for this cause, they quickly stepped up to help.  Most recently, RSO built a school for the children of this colony. David's fans have raised money for this school and for a beautiful walkway which was built to join the school and other buildings on the property.  Earlier this week, I read that David's fans alone had raised over $40,000 for RSO's school, and money is still coming in. Fans are joining forces to purchase personalized bricks for the Pathway of Hope. And all of this has happened without David having ever visited these people until now.

Today is World Leprosy Day, a day set side to remind the rest of us that this terrible disease still exists, but it can be treated. We all need to be aware of this disease and hopefully one day it can be prevented.

I don't know of any activities planned for here in Austin to draw awareness to this cause.  Maybe I should have done something, but I only found out about this a few days ago. Maybe in the future I can help with this here at home.

At least David would be proud to know that I am going out to do community service for another cause today.  My church has dedicated six Saturday's a year as "Go and Do" Saturdays, where we as a church, volunteer at 6 to 8 different organizations around Austin. Some go to the Food Bank, some go to a Habitat for Humanity house build, some to a halfway house, and a variety of other places to help them.  Today my daughter and I are going to a new organization, The South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center.  I'm not totally sure what we will be working on there but I do know that the organization is important in this community.  I'll finish this when we get back.

Fast morning but I feel good about the work that we did.  Six of us organized, sorted ,and cleaned at the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center.  It was very interesting as only one person in our group has worked there before.  The organization is a Christian group that has counseling services and materials for any girl or woman who is pregnant. All of the services are free for the clients. The center provides monograms for the women, maternity clothes, diapers, and baby clothes and supplies.  I was really impressed to learn that everything in the center, from the monogram machine to the furniture to the clothing, all are donated by different churches and businesses.  And each client is also offered prayers and introduced to the Gospel.  This center is a positive alternative to the Planned Parenthood centers that are pro-abortion and offers these women  the option of keeping their babies even if they don't think they can afford them. They can also refer clients to Christian adoption agencies if they would prefer this route.

Amanda and I felt good about the work that we did today.  It wasn't difficult, but it was work that needed to be done. We are even talking about going back to volunteer at the center in the future.

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