GRATITUDE FOR GOOD
A Blog by Gratitude Alliance
(Reposted from The Gracias Foundation, now called Global Gratitude Alliance)
Here at The Gracias Foundation, we talk a lot about the ripple effect – how the actions of one person helping another can create a ripple of change for an entire community… and more.
Meet Olga: friend and colleague of the Gracias founders. Olga was inspired to spend her sabbatical volunteering with orphaned HIV+ youth at our project in Ethiopia. Before her departure, she reached out to her PayPal colleagues for support. Donations came flooding in – as well this email by a generous colleague called Giulio:
“Hey! I just chipped in. I might as well come and help out …”
And, so began the ripple. Not only did Olga go on to volunteer in Ethiopia and since her return, is now active in helping a community of 20+ youth shape their future, but her actions also inspired someone else to get involved.
With no volunteer vacancies at our project in Ethiopia, we sent Giulio to Maisha children’s home in Kenya where he quickly impressed both kids and staff with his giving spirit and immense enthusiasm. While there, Giulio experienced firsthand the desperate need for cheaper, reliable, and sustainable transportation.
Maisha doesn’t have a car. There aren’t any public buses in semi-rural Ruai. So, the staff hire expensive taxis for weekly grocery shopping, medical checkups, supplies trips to Nairobi, airport transfers for volunteers, and much more. Hiring taxis not only wastes time – they’re often hours late – but the high cost prevents better use of that money for critical needs like the new house. Like supplemental education. Like psychosocial development activities.
But, Giulio is helping to change that. His campaign for a van has raised nearly 70% of the budget needed – and we hope to find donors to fund the gap so we can provide sustainable transportation to Maisha later this year.
And, the ripple doesn’t stop there. Giulio already helped tutor several kids to higher grades in school, supplied books for the Maisha library, oversaw the installation of a safer cooking system for staff, and now seeks to find additional study opportunities for kids during their frequent, lengthy school breaks.
Thus, what started as an act of kindness by one person is now impacting communities of children in both Ethiopia and Kenya.
As the wise Margaret Mead once said: