Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why We Do What We Do

Haiti is a popular humanitarian destination for American volunteers to travel to.  Some of my friends love using their talents to make life better in Africa. Most of our readers have acquaintances who use their skills to make our local community stronger through the spirit of giving of themselves to benefit others. So why, people often ask, do Finding Freedom through Friendship board members choose to put our time, talents and treasure into a tiny Central American country called Guatemala?
Let me introduce to you some amazing board members and explain to our readers why we love Guatemala:

This is Mary Kay Hall (R). She works as a registered nurse, has a compassionate heart, and has traveled to Guatemala with a medical team. While there, Mary Kay connected with the Guatemalan women and children and she was eager to find a meaningful way to benefit them. Mary Kay is a founding board member of our organization, she serves as our secretary and sponsors one of our students. She helps raise funds for FFF by selling our craft items and utilizing her skills as a jewelry maker to create items we sell at craft fairs.

Mike and Wendy McNevin (L) live in Denver. As a physician who travels to Guatemala annually, Mike is continually reminded of the humanitarian need that exists there. He serves as our vice president, all while holding down a demanding job as a Medical Director of a surgery center, serving as a Bishop in his church and meeting the needs of his three grown children. Mike's compassionate medical care for the women and children of Guatemala is his hallmark. He and his wife Wendy have sent two of their children to Guatemala on medical missions. Wendy serves as our board president, and she covers us with prayer, willingly shares her income with our organization to benefit our abandoned mothers, and supports our project with her quiet devotion to making the world a better place.  

Carol Kremer (L) resides in Rhode Island, and is a busy mother of two, as well as a practicing CRNA. As an adoptive mother of a daughter from Guatemala, Carol has a big heart for impoverished women in Central America. Carol is one of our founding board members and works tirelessly at her online Guatemalan craft sales, the proceeds of which help us financially. Carol is an excellent communicator and her work ethic benefits many. Her financial gifts that result from her on-line sales have purchased beds, tables, home payments, stoves and bedding and educational supplies for many of our families.

Vinnie and Faby de Samoya (R) reside in Guatemala and are the parents of four. As a minister, Vinnie works long hours to meet the needs of his parishioners. This amazing couple share their love of ministry and compassion for others by mentoring several of our micro business clients, as well as delivering food, school supplies and micro business advice to one of our single mothers located three hours from them. 


Jody Greenlee (L) is a pediatric nurse and has fostered two children from Guatemala that came to the states for donated surgery. She has traveled to Guatemala for the last fourteen years to volunteer her medical and humanitarian services to women and children in our organization. She serves as our Executive Director.

In addition, Erin Ballard (KY), Violeta Archer (TX) and Rae House (KY) act as advisory board members. Erin is a student at the University of KY and despite a busy schedule, is always ready and willing to pack medical supplies and gather items needed in Guatemala. Violeta developed our business plan and shares her passion for sustainable architectural plans for the homes we build in Guatemala. Rae does an outstanding job of creating our PR work (Rae's website), and gives our organization a "face" to go with our name.  
 Finding Freedom was founded out of our board member's desire to create positive and long term meaningful change for Guatemala's abandoned women and their children. We all have a part of our hearts in Guatemala, for various reasons. Maria and her children are a few of those reasons.

Maria and her children, with first FFF food donation