Friends of the Orphans — Thank you, Molly Hightower

Since the quake that hit Haiti earlier this week, I’ve been following updates and stories closely. CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo!, TIME…I feel as though I’ve been stalking Haiti.

I came across the story of Molly Hightower, who is a 22 year-old volunteer for the organization Friends of the Orphans. She signed up to spend a year in Haiti as a childcare worker, hoping to someday work in international adoption.
Today, I scoured the Friends of the Orphans website and her blog. Today, rescuers found Molly buried in the rubble of the orphanage she was volunteering at. She wasn’t alive anymore.

What else did I find out? That a little Guatemalan girl that I had sponsored together with my friend, Kaylee, was from NPH. I had been thirteen at the time and didn’t know which organization the girl was from — simply that I put my money in an envelope along with a letter and gave it to my mother to mail off. I don’t know what happened to her.

Heike Mies Needham, Haiti volunteer
Friends of the Orphans offers international volunteering. All you do is get vaccinations and pay for your air fare. They pay for your housing, food, and needs for a year. They encourage longer stays. I’ve decided to go. Of course, I’ll have to wait until I don’t have any financial responsibilities holding me here (car, lease, credit cards, etc.), so it will be at least 3 – 4 years until I can go. Maybe the orphanage that Molly worked at will be rebuilt by then. Maybe I’ll get to work where she worked. Maybe I’ll be able to care for the same children that she cared for.

I just wish that I could go now. There’s an unyielding, unhinging, uninhibited, inexplicable desire to help.

If you, whoever you are — anyone at alll, could find a way to get me to Haiti, I would drop everything and go.

Even if it’s not Haiti. Even if it’s Guatemala, El Salvadore, Bolivia…wherever.

So, since a small start is the beginning of a big challenge, I’ve begun looking into Red Cross, Mercy Corps, along with similar other organizations.

Molly, little Guatemalan Illonka, I’ll be there as soon as I can.

❤ Ellie

3 responses to “Friends of the Orphans — Thank you, Molly Hightower”

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