WE CARE of India

Check out my fund-raising page to show your support of my 2012 hike!

Here is a video from my first trip to India in 2006:

Project Hope
Though I had never been abroad, it was always a dream of mine. During my senior year in high school, my parents came home from church and told me I had missed a very special speaker that Sunday. They shared with me what a visitor from India, Sister Jessy, had presented to the congregation. She had founded an orphanage called Pratheeksha, which translates to “hope” in English. She wanted to provide a home to all of the female children who were rejected by their families. She saw many girls who were poor and neglected due to financial hardship or who had no place to go because their parents had died. In the rural villages of Samayapuram there were no orphanages or homes for these poor girls, so she took things into her own hands and gave them a safe and loving home. She started with only five children, but her home soon grew to over fifty girls. After talking with my parents I became anxious to meet her and to see if there was any way I could help all the way from Nebraska. I thought how amazing this woman must be and how I wanted to meet her one day. My parents then revealed that Horizons Community Church was organizing a group trip to visit the orphanage in Tamil Nadu, India. This got my blood pumping! The idea of traveling all the way to India, to see the orphanage and meet the children was something I knew I had to do! I kept asking my parents if we could go and I eventually got the answer I was hoping for: we were going to visit Pratheeksha!In the next couple months we got our vaccinations and our passports while our excitement grew. Before we knew it, we were on our way to India with two other church members, Kay and Rusty Holt. A day and a half later and over 24 hours of flight time, we were greeted by Sister Jessy in Chennai, India. As we walked out of the airport we were instantly hit with crazy humidity, noise and crowds of people dressed in beautiful colors. We loaded up in the van and were dropped off at a church where we spent the night. We were all wide awake, still on the U.S. time schedule. This is when we started to have second thoughts. Just the drive from the airport was overwhelming! So many people, so much traffic, trash all over… What were we thinking? My mom even wondered aloud why we hadn’t spent the thousands of dollars on a nice cruise instead.

The following day we arrived at Pratheeksha and were warmly welcomed by the fifty children dancing and singing for us. All of our second thoughts instantly disappeared. We remembered why we had flown half way across the earth. The next week and a half was life changing. We learned about the lives of these children, watched the sisters hard at work, tried new foods, experienced the cities of Trichy and Chennai, and played our hearts out with the children. They had the most beautiful smiles and hearts I had ever experienced. We saw them studying hard, playing and dancing so happily and praying intently.

Driving away form the orphanage on our way home was difficult for all of us. We sat in silence and let the tears fall. Our days with the children and sisters touched each of our hearts deeply. That was the moment I knew I would be back. With my parents’ support, I was able to work hard and save money while attending Northern Arizona University.

I returned to India in 2009; this time I went solo. I was blessed to spend an entire month with the children and really got to experience life at the orphanage. I witnessed how hard Sister Jessy and the other sisters worked to meet the needs of the children. The world is a better place because of people like them; they dedicate their entire lives to helping others. They spend hours each day cooking, meeting the needs of each child, praying for their futures, raising money to run the home, and giving the children the love they needed. They do their best to provide the children with dignity, love, security, safety and skills for a better future. She has helped so many children to gain the confidence needed to face life with its challenges in India. Each and every one of these sisters and children leads a hard life. They all struggle deeply and need our love and support.

I have decided to dedicate my 2012 hike to a non-profit organization that helps The Pratheeksha Orphanage. Here is a link to WE CARE of INDIA (Women’s Empowerment and Children’s Advancement in Rural Environments of India)’s website: wecareofindia.org. WE CARE of India is committed to fulfilling the basic needs of the suffering women, and the neglected, orphaned children in the villages of Samayapuram, and beyond in the country of India. It is run by a woman in the United States who has been working with the Pratheeksha Orphanage for over ten years. Check out the website to learn more about it. The site also provides many more details on Sister Jessy, the orphanage and other projects they are working on. I am asking for you to show your support of my hike and of these children by donating in whatever way you can. You may either donate online, or you may choose to send your donation by mail to:

We Care of India Association
13816 Parkhill Rd
Overland Park, KS 66221

Download the donation form: pdf. word.

Please note that you are doing so in honor of my PCT hike to help me keep track of how much I have raised. My goal is to raise at least one dollar per mile that I hike to help The Pratheeksha Orphanage. I have 1,000 miles left and I may also hike Oregon again if time permits. I greatly appreciate any donations you can provide!

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