By Neal Beard, Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
Since 2006, I have traveled to Honduras on numerous occasions as part of a village electrification project organized by the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg and our Rotary district. The Rotary Club of Madison, Alabama, has also been working with us in the same area for about nine years, doing incredible work delivering healthy burning Eco-Stoves, eye clinics, and dental clinics.
Last year, I wired this lady’s home for electricity (photo at right). All she wanted was one light bulb to illuminate her kitchen. On her first attempt the string broke. I had to repair it and let her try again.
This year my friend and fellow Rotarian, Rick Copeland, sent down a bag full of shoes and asked me to carry a pair to this lady. I emptied out the bag and she picked out a pair of shoes. She then took them into the next room where she could put them on without us watching. When she came out, I checked the shoes for fit and asked her to pose so that I could take a picture of her to prove to Rick that I didn’t keep the shoes for myself.
Sometimes little things like a new pair of shoes can mean so much to the person receiving them and humble them to tears. But what this lady didn’t know was how much her smile and excitement at getting a new pair of shoes had touched me — deeply inside. I was the one truly humbled.
The giver is not capable of setting a gift’s true value; only the receiver can do that. Sometimes, you get a rare chance to see with your own eyes just how important your gift means to the receiver. We have touched the lives of a lot of people on this year’s Honduran village electrification project. But if the only person we had helped was this lady, then the trip would still have been worthwhile.
For more information about our Honduras Project, visit our website.