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Many Hopes: A Story Worth Sharing

October 16, 2012

Above is the video I just had the pleasure of producing with the rest of my team in the Many Hopes’ DC Chapter. Give it a spin, then have a read below. Its a rare moment when a job became more than a job, and if you’ll follow along with me, you might find something worth investing in too.

Life, boiled down, is the collection of stories we choose to get caught up in. Be they faith-based, relational, occupational, or whatever combination it may be, we tend to enter into the stories that compel us most; that we not only get the most out of, but we can be of the most value to as well. For me, Many Hopes’ story is definitely that. In it, I found a bit more of myself within a story worth investing in. A lot in.

On Safari: A Masai Prince and I

On Safari: A Masai Prince and I

A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me to volunteer my photo and video skills in Kenya for a month in early 2010. I leapt at the opportunity. As a photographer the chance to take my camera to new and exciting places was high on my list of important things to do. Having already been to China, visiting Kenya and then moving on to other places to capture cultures and stories that show a world so far removed from my own was enormously compelling. Oh! And this friend happened to mention something about an organization, the home it helped fund/build, and the work it was doing there too… blah blah blah, Lions, Rhinos, cameras, click click. Let’s go!

My perspective began to shift from this home being the vehicle to fulfill a wholly selfish endeavor to something else not long into my month long visit. Sure there were wonderful sights, safaris, and a different world to capture, but as I fulfilled the requirement of documenting the work of Anthony Mulongo, Mudzini Kwetu, and Many Hopes, the feeling of being wrapped up in something bigger became more and more evident. There was something groundbreaking going on, not just in the effect the home and sense of real family, love and belonging was having on each new girl that entered, but also in how that would play out over the years to come via their involvement in the surrounding community and societal structure that caused them to be missing those things in the first place. It was captivating.

Sunrise on the Indian Ocean

Sunrise on the Indian Ocean

After a month of photographing, filming, and getting to know Anthony and the girls, the night before I left it really began to sink in. The girls all wrote goodbye cards and we had a great little, last hurrah. During that, they asked me when I’d be coming back. Until that point I hadn’t really considered it. I’d come to explore and mark East Africa off my photographic bucket list and had done that, so the idea of coming back again seemed… counterproductive. But I knew I would. It wasn’t a story that I could be a mere outside observer to anymore. It was a story I’d become wrapped up in myself. It was my own story. These girls and this family over the course of just a month had become just as important as my own family back home. The work being done was as important as any I could ever do. I’ve been a volunteer with Many Hopes ever since, visiting again the following December and again this upcoming December.

So, what’s this page you’re reading and all of this Breaking Ground 2012 nonsense about then? Put simply, Breaking Ground is Many Hopes’ yearly fundraiser where the vast majority of operational costs for building and running the homes and school are raised. 100% of your money goes directly to that: the work on the ground in Kenya.

Two of the many Many Hopes stories.

Two of the many Many Hopes stories.

Yep, you caught me… i said “your money”. I’m inviting you to invest in this story too. Maybe it’s only a few bucks. Maybe it’s more. Maybe it’s giving your timerunning a 5K, or even being so inspired by the story you want to become a fundraiser during Breaking Ground yourself… but it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s an opportunity to invest in not only rescuing children from a system that’s left them abused, abandoned, orphaned or worse, but into something that’s raising them up to be the adult agents of change that will fix the broken systems that put children in those situations in the first place. It’s not a temporary bandage. It’s an actual, long-term solution. And it’s a solution that needs you.

Think it over. Visit the website. Watch the video I made for you (above). Dig deep, click the button below, and accept the invitation to make Many Hopes a beautiful part of your story too.


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