The Impact of an Orphan on a Young Man's Heart

Write an essay describing yourself as "a man for others" as is our Jesuit mission.

I used to believe that donating money was the best way I could help provide a solution to AIDS and malaria in Africa, the best way to make an orphans’ life as good as can be, and the best way to make a poor person happy. While this is true to some extent as money is needed to fund research for AIDS and malaria, and as orphanages need to pay their bills, purchase toys, and diapers, and poor people need food, I have learned through one life changing experience that giving money is not enough. I must also give of myself.

In the summer of 2003 I spent two weeks in an orphanage in Nejapa, El Salvador, called Love and Hope Children’s Home. Here the group I was with and I were responsible for helping cook for the orphanage, cleaning the orphanage, getting the kids ready for bed, changing the diapers of the little ones, and working construction to build the kids a swimming pool.

While these were all important jobs and necessary to the successful operation of the orphanage, I can still remember what the owner of the orphanage said to our group the first day we got there. She said that most of the jobs we would be doing would be tasks that anyone could be hired to complete. She went on to say that the orphanage has plenty of money to...

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