It was on our 2nd trip to Honduras, riding in the back of a pick-up truck when my husband and I looked at each other and knew, “this is what we’re suppose to do.” We feel very fortunate to have found our shared passion, and to have the ability to live our dreams…but we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of others.
First, and most importantly, is our immediate family. I remember telling “the boys” that we would be hosting our first patients, a 17 month old girl and a 19 year old young woman. Their first reactions were of reluctance. They knew we wanted to help others, but now it was going to impact their lives. I can honestly say that it was the most positive way we influenced their childhoods.They certainly formed bonds with the children and some became as close as siblings, and they were taught life lessons from them, as well. Our boys shared these experiences with their friends, and they too became actively involved.
My extended family has shared their love and support with our Honduran children. Often times “Abuela” and “Abuelo” (a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa) have stepped in to babysit and drive to/from the airport and hospitals. My brothers have been actively involved with the children and also shared their expertise in law and finance. Esperanza wouldn’t have been formed without their help.
Certainly our friends have made all the difference in the world. They have provided much needed respite…at the exact times we felt pushed to our limits. Friends have welcomed “our” children into their homes, and fully immersed themselves into their lives. I’m thankful to have friends with a common vision, and we have so much fun sharing our memories of the children.
I absolutely agree with the statement “it takes a village to raise a child”…thanks to all who share our journey.
A year ago today, our beloved friend, Ray Tye passed away. He truly was my hero and his spirit lives on in me, as I share his desire of helping improve the lives of others. Please take a moment to read about this remarkable man and the impact he had on so many lives at his foundation’s website: www.raytyemedicalaidfoundation.org. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his wife, Eileen and his large extended family. We are incredibly in debt to this foundation for providing the financial support for three of Esperanza’s patients. The following words were included in our tribute to Ray…”I love how he had no boundaries and helped people of all ethnicities, religions and ages. I think of him when I read Proverbs 31:8-9: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly: defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
This evening, we will be toasting Ray with grateful hearts…may he be having his own celebration, surrounded by loved ones.
Many people work behind the scenes offering their assistance to Esperanza and many other organizations. Meet Margaret Whitehead (above), director of the Airline Ambassadors program which provides escorts for children coming to the United States for medical treatment. Margaret works enthusiastically and timely as she coordinates her ambassadors to accommodate the needs of the child.
American Airline employees volunteer their time by providing these needy children comfort and compassion, as they leave their families behind because their native countries cannot provide the medical care needed. One Ambassador who is especially adored by Esperanza is Ina Melen. Ina is home-based in the Boston area and has transported children from there, back home to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Ina’s love and commitment to helping children in need is evident as she devotes her day (and sometimes over night) to reuniting children with their families. Ina is pictured below with 9 year old, Noel who is a cardiac patient at Tufts Medical Center.