On July 13th, people from all over the world gathered in Chicago to celebrate LWB’s tenth anniversary of working in China. It was a very special evening, with program graduates, volunteers, and supporters all coming together to celebrate the children who are our heroes and our inspiration.
At the dinner, I was able to share one of the most impactful moments of the last ten years for me, which occurred on one of our cleft surgery trips. One of the volunteers had adopted a child who was helped by LWB’s medical program. He was critically ill, but because people like you believed his life as important, his surgery was funded and he was given a second chance. His mom and I were sitting together one day on that trip, and she took my hand and said, “I hope you realize that everything about our world has changed because my son lived. Everyone in our family has been changed, of course, but he’s also impacted his teachers and our church. Our neighbors and his friends. He’ll grow up someday and get married and have kids of his own, and his kids will have kids…and the very fabric of this world changed because Jack lived.”
I can’t even begin to tell you what a powerful statement that was to me, and it’s still one that I think about all the time. We normally tend to think about kids as they are right at that moment, don’t we? But the truth is that each of the incredible kids in our programs is going to grow up and make their own indelible mark on this earth. And when you step out in faith to give a child a real second chance, whether it is through education, or good nutrition, or medical care, or adoption…the world changes, and I believe it changes for the good.
At the dinner we played a very special slide show of some LWB graduates who are blessing this world every day with their presence. I wanted to share it with you today while giving thanks.
Thanks to all the parents who have opened their hearts wide to adoption. Thanks to all of our volunteers who have given days, months, and years to help those who are often forgotten. And thanks to our wonderful friends and supporters who give so generously from their hearts to make our programs possible. We couldn’t do it without you.
So here’s to all the children whose lives we have touched together since 2003. And here’s to all the children still waiting for someone to believe in them. Until every child knows what it means to be truly loved…our work must continue.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer