It's been a while since my last post, but I think it’s time I get back on the cyber saddle and write one... This one isn't about me, but a man making a difference in the world.
These past few days I have been given the opportunity to meet John Guiliano, founder of the Tamarindo Foundation. This foundation has been changing the lives of children and families in El Salvador for twenty years. As a result of the twelve-year civil war in El Salvador (1980-1992) that destroyed much of the country, John began working with the people of the town of Guarjila in Chalatenango province near the Honduran border to help recover and bury their dead. John’s work with the people of Guarjila expanded to working with the children – the children are the future, and the Tamarindo Foundation followed.
Through the hard work of John and many others, the Tamarindo Foundation has expanded to help many families excel through social and economic opportunity. The foundation has provided a safe haven for the children to grow, play, and learn. It has provided employment, education and healthcare for the residents. The Tamarindo Foundation has opened new doors to many in El Salvador and opened the eyes of one, me. These past few days I have come to understand more about John's mission and I have witnessed how one man’s goals can open the future wide to opportunity to people who not only need it, but also deserve it.
Johns mission is not a stationary one - it is motivated by two wheels that not only collect miles, but more importantly, collect hope. Starting August 5th John will begin a three month long journey crossing the United States from Boston to San Francisco to raise awareness and funds for the Tamarindos. His Give Kids A Chance journey consists of a 5,142 mile bike ride for the children of El Salvador.
While you read this post (hopefully many of you will), I want you to think about everything that you have right now. I know economic times are hard right now; my family is living proof of making sacrifices to make ends meet. I’d like you to look in your closets, in you dressers, in your jewelry cases, at everything that is around your house. If you look you will see so much, a lot of which are probably clothes you don't wear, books you've never read, toys your kids don't play with. We are very fortunate. I'm proposing that while you look at all of the stuff that you have and while you’re thinking of the purchases that you want to make, you re-think and you donate instead.
I’m asking that you make a minimum donation of $10. Everyone I know, including my college student friends, has $10 in discretionary income. I'm asking that you help John and his team raise awareness for children that will allow them to prosper in El Salvador. We live in a world where giving back is so necessary in order to help others have the bright futures we all have. Please, show John and his team the support they deserve, and help them create the difference in the world we all wish to see.
I’ve provided links through this post to John’s blog, the bike tour and the Tamarindo Foundation. Please take five or ten minutes and check out what he is all about and the difference he is making. One person can make a difference, and pay it forward. One person can influence another, and influence another, and so on - the way John has influenced me. I hope I have influenced all of you to donate and raise awareness. I ask that each of you please share my facebook status as your status to direct people here to read about John and the Tamarindos and to make a donation to the cause:
Life is a blessing.