I talked to you yesterday about how I was having a hard time deciding what to do with the money I won from Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer, right? Well, part of the problem I was having was that all of the ideas I had for spending the money seemed really selfish. We are so blessed. We have abundant food, shelter, clothing, health, family, friends, and happiness galore. I have a healthy dose of "liberal guilt" over the fact that I throw away more food in a year than many children have to eat. None of my ideas for the money felt right, because we don't truly need anything. Even during our leanest times, we've had enough. More than enough. To be honest, my waistline says we have too much.
So, I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Pretty Babies family - Melissa Irakoze. She is a 7 year old orphan in Rwanda who I've "adopted" for a year through Compassion International. I chose Rwanda because we sponsored a woman through Women for Women International a few years ago (because Oprah told me to), and it is a country full of people in desperate, crushing need.
Melissa (whose surname means "Thank God") lives with her grandmother. She was born May 15, 2001. The information I have so far doesn't say what happened to her parents. Rwanda has been devastated by civil war between the Tutsi and the Hutus, and by AIDS (like all of Africa), poverty, and disease. When I read the information we got about our sponsored woman through Women for Women, when I saw the movie Hotel Rwanda... well, it spoke to me.
I chose Compassion International because Shannon traveled to Africa with them earlier this year and blogged about her experiences. I thought, since I won the money from her, I should give it back to a cause that she loves.
I hesitated to even post about this, because I have always believed that these acts are more meaningful if you do them privately. It's tacky to toot my own horn and say, "Look how great I am! I did this nice thing!" But I'm sharing it because I want to make you aware of this organization, and maybe to inspire you to try to help, too.
And because I want to tell you about my new pretty baby as I get to know her.
Maybe now my conscience will shut up and let me take my kids to Disneyworld!!