Our executive director, Stuart Nichols, received a truly inspiring email yesterday from one of our distribution partners, Network of Caring. It’s a little longer than most of our blog posts, but well worth the read. We wanted to share it with you just so you could hear one of the many ways people thank you for your continued support:
During this time of year in the US kids are graduating from high school and college. In fact here in the Network 21 office 6 of us, myself included, have a child graduating from high school. Suffice it to say that this is a time of major transition for children and their parents. Phrases like, “letting go” and “moving on” and “new life” are often being used. And for the most part, though we are excited for our kids, we are a little sad to hear those words and see our children leave for college and a “new life.”
But as I ruminated about the transitions that are happening in our homes here I thought about all the good changes Network of Caring has been able to affect in the world. Just like the young people graduating to “new lives” your charity has been able to cause many “graduations” from one old life into a new, better one.
To date 3850 people have received a new wheelchair and a new life through Network of Caring. When Free Wheelchair Mission founder Don Schoendorfer asked why those who receive new wheelchairs are almost always wearing their best clothes he was told they dress up because they are “graduating” from the ground to where the regular people are. That is a big graduating class that you have there Network of Caring…way to go!
This year nearly 200 students will graduate from our Ambassador High School in Mumbai India. Add to that the thousands that have been educated through our child sponsorship programs and orphanages around the world and I would estimate the total number of grads in our history to be well over 10,000 kids. And in many cases these kids that are now leading normal, productive lives were at one time living on the streets and facing the prospect of becoming slaves. What an impact we have made together through real graduations!
I can also think of hundreds of disabled people who have “graduated” from lonely handicapped lives to lives of fulfillment and meaning through power soccer. Last month we hosted a crew of writers, photographers, and videographers from Amway One By One here to film a video about our power soccer program. It was thrilling to hear our staff at the Fernando Foundation share the joy they have felt experiencing the joy of a disabled kid played power soccer for the first time. One look and you could tell they had found a new life!
And these stories could be repeated over and over, all around the world. I guess you could say that wherever Network of Caring goes, someone is graduating from something pretty bad to something pretty good. Because you gave and chose to care about someone you didn’t know and weren’t likely to meet, many many thousands of people today have a new life. Thank you very much and congratulations for all the new lives and graduations you have helped to create!
Cheif Significance Officer