“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Henry and Lorna are Anglo-Indians who moved to Canada from India in the 1960s. They recently learned about our Pirate House fundraiser for St. Stephen Children’s Centre, after the Burnaby Now published the thank-you photo that Ben and his students sent to Tereza, the reporter who had written a story about us.
Like many in their rural village in India, they grew up poor. Henry told the story of a moment that greatly influenced his life.
A neighbor came by to ask his mother if she could borrow a cup of oil to cook food for her children, as they did not have money to buy any. His mother said “No, I can’t give you a cup of oil because I only have one cup of oil left. But I can give you half of it”. Henry was a young boy at that time and he remembered how worried he was about this and asked his mother why she would give so much away when they had so little. He feared they would not have enough for themselves.
Henry explained that his mother could only say two words in English and that this is what she repeated to him: “We’ll get. We’ll get”. She explained that this woman had children too and they could not let them go hungry. Henry said that many times through the years, his mother would say and do the same thing – “we’ll get” she would repeat reassuringly.
Henry then said, “She was right. We did eventually get.”
When he saw the photo of the St. Stephen’s students with their new desks in the Burnaby Now, he remembered his days in his rural primary school and many of them going to school hungry. He explained that he and Lorna never had children and so he really wanted to be able to help other children now.
So, he and Lorna proceeded to give a very generous donation to St. Stephen Children’s Centre in the hopes that this can ensure that all the children can have a cup of milk along with their morning porridge at the school.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Ben and the St. Stephen Children’s Centre team were so incredibly touched and moved by this story.
“In this world, it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.”
~Henry Ward Beecher
They thought hard about how best they could invest this money. Originally, they considered buying a cow, but this was too expensive to be able to ensure they could continue to care for the cow in the long run.
So instead, they decided to invest it in the current small enterprise they have started at the centre – our eucalyptus tree farm. This donation will allow them to buy an additional acre for the farm.
To honour Henry and Lorna’s wish, a portion of their income from the farm will be used to ensure that they can buy milk for all, of the students. They will also save some of the profits over time until they can, in fact, eventually buy a cow for the school.
“There’s more than what the eye can see, the heart can love, and the brain can understand.”
~Louise Philippe Dulay
There are no words to express how thankful we are to Henry and Lorna, Tereza and the Burnaby Now, and every single one of you for the choices you all make to share some of what you have for children and families in need in Uganda.
“Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.”
These stories of kindness inspire and fill our hearts with hope for a better world!
“Everyone has a purpose in life… a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate, goal of all goals.”
Thank-you so much for being a part of this beautiful global partnership and friendship and all coming together to BE THE CHANGE!
Nak & Nam
(Julie “Nakajubi” Desroches & “Namala” Rena Leidenius)
Thank You, Suzana, for this heartrending story! So true, it is the small lttle droplets that help fill the bucket. Every contribution, no matter how small, can and does bring about a change in some others’ lives.
Bharat, Thank you my friend for your contribution! “A poignant reminder of the passing of time” and as you said, “Good lessons deserve to be shared.”
Suzana: We never know how many people we influence or impact. If we are lucky and careful that is for the good. However, too often I fear it is not.
It is likely that for every person you know you have influenced, there are dozens that you are not aware of. That has been proven to me many times over the years.
Example: One day a woman came up to me in the grocery store, grabbed me in a bear hug, and kissed me on both cheeks with tears streaming down her face. She said that I had saved her life. It seems she had been going through a series of personal tragedies and was considering suicide. Then one day when she got home from our hotel where she was a maid, there was a birthday card from me. The only one she got that year, but it gave her hope that someone cared about her. That had all played out 5 years before in a city 700 miles from the grocery where we stood.
Ken, I agree with you, we never truly know whose life we are touching or impacting but I believe the ability to try is in all of us. Thank you for sharing, you really touched my heart.